Watch CBS News

Kentucky Tabbed No. 1 In Preseason Coaches Poll

(CBS) With most of its core coming back from a national runner-up finish, Kentucky has been tabbed as the preseason No. 1 in the USA Today Coaches Poll, it was announced Thursday.

After falling to the UConn Huskies in the national championship last spring, the Wildcats return the likes of Willie Cauley-Stein, Alex Poythress, Dakari Johnson, Marcus Lee, Andrew Harrison and Aaron Harrison. They added a recruiting class that is headlined by highly touted big men Karl Towns and Trey Lyles.

"I never expected my guys to return like they did," Kentucky coach John Calipari told USA Today. "I've never had to coach this way, playing so many guys. It's the only way to do it right so these kids get the chance they deserve. But there's a real challenge here. They have to become great teammates. Can they share? Can they sacrifice? Can they handle adversity together?"

Six Big Ten teams made the top 25, led by No. 4 Wisconsin.

Here's the full top 25, with first-place votes in parentheses.

1. Kentucky (24)
2. Arizona (3)
3. Duke (2)
4. Wisconsin (3)
5. Kansas
6. North Carolina
7. Florida
8. Virginia
9. Louisville
10. Texas
11. Wichita State
12. Villanova
13. Gonzaga
14. Iowa State
15. Connecticut
16. VCU
17. San Diego State
18. Michigan State
19. Oklahoma
20. Ohio State
21. Nebraska
22. SMU
23. Michigan
24. Syracuse
25. Iowa

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.