Every one of the top 10 teams will be in action on opening night, including four at the Champions Classic, when Kansas plays Michigan State and Kentucky plays Duke.

By Eric Single
October 22, 2018

Fresh off a Final Four appearance and breaking in a decorated recruiting class and a set of vaunted transfers, Kansas will enter the 2018–19 college basketball season as the No. 1 team in the AP Top 25, which released its preseason poll Monday.

Kansas received 37 of the 65 first-place votes, but six other teams received top honors on at least one ballot, including defending national champion Villanova, last year’s No. 1 overall seed Virginia, defending SEC co-champion Tennessee and perennial West Coast Conference power Gonzaga. No. 2 Kentucky and No. 4 Duke, which collected 23 votes between themselves, meet in primetime of the season’s opening night in the Champions Classic, right after Kansas plays No. 10 Michigan State.

The Jayhawks have won 14 consecutive Big 12 titles but endured some turbulence this offseason, as head coach Bill Self was named during the federal trial into corruption in college basketball, which has included discussion of the recruitment of forwards Billy Preston and Silvio De Sousa to Kansas. Five-star freshman guards Devon Dotson and Quentin Grimes and Memphis transfers Dedric and K.J. Lawson will be expected to help fill the void left by three departed starters: Devonte’ Graham, Svi Mykhailiuk and Malik Newman.

The ACC leads all conferences in the preseason AP Top 25 with seven teams, followed by the SEC with five, the Big 12 with four, and the Pac-12 and Big Ten with three teams each. Every one of the top 10 teams will be in action on opening night, including four at the Champions Classic in Indianapolis, where Kansas plays Michigan State and Kentucky plays Duke.

You can check out the complete voting breakdown for the preseason Top 25 here. (First-place votes noted in parentheses below.)

1. Kansas (37)
2. Kentucky (19)
3. Gonzaga (1)
4. Duke (4)
5. Virginia (2)
6. Tennessee (1)
7. Nevada
8. North Carolina
9. Villanova (1)
10. Michigan State
11. Auburn
12. Kansas State
13. West Virginia
14. Oregon
15. Virginia Tech
16. Syracuse
17. Florida State
18. Mississippi State
19. Michigan
20. TCU
21. UCLA
22. Clemson
23. LSU
24. Purdue
25. Washington

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