ARIZONA BASKETBALL

Arizona, USC only Pac-12 teams ranked in 2023-24 AP preseason men’s basketball poll

Oct 16, 2023, 9:39 AM | Updated: 9:52 am

Tommy Lloyd, Arizona Wildcats head coach...

Head coach Tommy Lloyd of the Arizona Wildcats reacts against the Princeton Tigers during the first half in the first round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Golden 1 Center on March 16, 2023 in Sacramento, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The Arizona Wildcats were picked as the cream of the crop in the Pac-12 men’s basketball preseason media poll, and the Associated Press’ national rankings ahead of 2023-24 reflect the same.

But after that, respect for the Pac-12 as it enters its final year of existence is short.

The Wildcats came in No. 12, while the USC Trojans at No. 21 were the only other team from the conference in the top 25.

Colorado and UCLA, at 26th and 27th, also received votes in the preseason poll.

The Wildcats have an aggressive nonconference schedule that will line them up to play four top-10 teams before Christmas: No. 2 Duke (Nov. 10), No. 4 Michigan State (Nov. 23), No. 3 Purdue (Dec. 16) and No. 10 Florida Atlanta (Dec. 23).

The Kansas Jayhawks were the clear No. 1 pick in the AP Top 25 preseason men’s basketball poll released Monday, earning 46 of 63 first-place votes to easily outdistance No. 2 Duke and No. 3 Purdue.

Duke picked up 11 first-place votes to land at No. 2 in Jon Scheyer’s second season as head coach, and Purdue got three first-place nods as they try to avenge a stunning end to last season.

AP player of the year Zach Edey and the Boilermakers became the second men’s No. 1 seed to lose to a No. 16 seed when they lost to Fairleigh Dickinson in the NCAA Tournament. Edey’s deadline-day decision to return to the Boilermakers, rather than turn pro, kept them a national title contender.

Michigan State was fourth with one first-place vote, its highest ranking since December 2020, and Marquette rounded out the top five with AP coach of the year Shaka Smart returning a loaded squad led by third-team All-American Tyler Kolek.

Defending national champion UConn was sixth with two first-place votes after losing standouts Adama Sanogo and Jordan Hawkins.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

College basketball AP poll preseason rankings for 2023-24

Record Pts Prv
1. Kansas (46) 0-0 1548 4
2. Duke (11) 0-0 1466 12
3. Purdue (3) 0-0 1436 3
4. Michigan St. (1) 0-0 1346
5. Marquette 0-0 1283 6
6. UConn (2) 0-0 1243 10
7. Houston 0-0 1117 2
8. Creighton 0-0 1099
9. Tennessee 0-0 1032 20
10. FAU 0-0 1011 25
11. Gonzaga 0-0 830 9
12. Arizona 0-0 776 8
13. Miami 0-0 750 16
14. Arkansas 0-0 685
15. Texas A&M 0-0 597 17
16. Kentucky 0-0 530
17. San Diego St. 0-0 529 18
18. Texas 0-0 493 5
19. North Carolina 0-0 474
20. Baylor 0-0 431 11
21. Southern Cal 0-0 427
22. Villanova 0-0 395
23. Saint Mary’s 0-0 335 19
24. Alabama 0-0 163 1
25. Illinois 0-0 104

Others receiving votes: Wisconsin 53, Colorado 49, UCLA 47, St. John’s 47, Maryland 34, Virginia 27, Auburn 27, TCU 24, Mississippi St. 20, Kansas St 13, Xavier 8, Memphis 7, Missouri 6, Boise St. 4, Indiana 3, Florida 2, Coll of Charleston 2, New Mexico 1, Drake 1.

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