North Carolina preseason AP No. 1 for record 9th time

North Carolina, which returns four starters and nine of its 10 top scorers from the team that reached the round of 16 in the NCAA Tournament, is No. 1 in The Associated Press' preseason Top 25 for a record ninth time.

The Tar Heels received 35 first-place votes from the 65-member national media panel. Kentucky is ranked second with 10 No. 1 votes, followed by Maryland, which had 14 first-place votes, and Kansas, which was No. 1 on five ballots. Defending national champion Duke is fifth with Virginia, which got one first-place vote, sixth followed by Iowa State, Oklahoma, Gonzaga and Wichita State.

North Carolina was last a preseason No. 1 in 2011-12. They broke a tie for most preseason No. 1 rankings with UCLA.

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