North Carolina No. 1 in AP’s Top 25 Men’s Basketball Pre-Season

Suspension

North Carolina surprised everyone last year when a talented team led by first-year coach Hubert Davis He tapped the No. 8 NCAA Championship seed in a race to the national title game.

Tar Heels won’t sneak up on anyone this year.

With the return of four players from the team Lost to Kansas In New Orleans, tar heels Fugitive selected as the preparation for Season 1 on AP Top 25 released Monday. They had 47 of 62 first-place votes from a national media panel to handily beat Gonzaga, the pre-season team for the past two years.

The Bulldogs had 12 votes in first place while Houston No. 3 got Kentucky first and fourth the other two.

“When they opened their lockers for the first practice last year, there was a New Orleans Superdome photo there. I wanted them to see where we’re headed in April,” Davis recalled last week. “Hard work and preparation, and practice that had to be put in place to put ourselves in a position to do it. Same approach this year compared to last year. The only difference this year is the outside noise.

“Last year, outside noise didn’t think we had a chance. This year outside noise thought we did,” Davis said.

It’s the 10th time North Carolina has topped the pre-season, breaking a tie with Duke for the most in history. AP . survey. But only twice during those years did Tar Heel reach the national championship game, and only a 1981-82 team with James Worthy and Michael Jordan eventually cut the net.

“Like Coach Davis always preaches, there’s a lot of outside noise, and we don’t really worry about any of that,” Caleb Love said. One of four freshmen returning to North Carolina Along with RJ Davis, Leaky Black, and Armando Bacot.

“We’re just focused on our team, and we’re getting better every day,” Love said.

The Bulldog will once again rely on Drew Timme to hand Coach Mark Few his elusive national title. Houston has its highest preseason rating since 1983, when Cougars’ third Phi Slama Jama team reached its second straight game. Kentucky has had its best pre-season standings since 2019, when the season ended amid the pandemic.

There was a tie for fifth place between the Jayhawks, who hoisted their last national title banner inside Allen Fieldhouse earlier this month, and Big 12 rival Baylor, who hoisted their championship banner the previous season.

Duke, with John Scheer replacing Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski, ranked seventh and eighth at UCLA. Creighton had her best pre-season rating at ninth, followed by Arkansas, Tennessee, Texas, Indiana, TCU and Auburn.

“You don’t pay much attention to it when you’re picked up ninth,” said Bloggers coach Greg McDermott. “You go to work every day and try to get better every day. It’s important that we approach it the same way this year.”

The 13th-ranked Hoosiers have been ranked No. 1 since January 2019 and highest in pre-season since 2016.

Villanova, where Kyle Neptune is Hall of Fame coach Jay Wright, is No. 16, the lowest pre-season rating for wildcats since 2008. They were followed by Arizona, Virginia, San Diego and Alabama.

The last five are Oregon, Michigan, Illinois, Dayton and Texas Tech.

“When I was in school as a player, I never bought into the world rankings, what the media would say about our ball club. You still have to go out and play the game,” Hoosiers coach Mike Woodson said. “Hell, in my last year we were number one and didn’t We get it done. So at the end of the day I think it’s a nice thing for our players who haven’t experienced that. Again, you have to get out and play. I mean, you have to prove it on the basketball floor. That’s when it matters.”

The Big 12 and SEC lead the way with five ranked teams. The Big Ten, Pac 12, and ACC each have three pieces each, while the Big East has two. The West Coast, Atlantic 10, Mountain West and American Sports Conferences each have one team in the survey.

Texas A&M was the first team out of the poll, followed by UConn, which appeared on 24 of 62 ballots. Miami, Purdue and St. Louis were also eyeing a place in the Top 25 when the first regular season poll was released on November 14.

The season for most teams starts on November 7, but as usual, the heavyweights’ first meet will be the classic champions November 15 in Indianapolis: No. No. 7 Duke’s nightcap.

More AP College Basketball: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

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