Kansas is the preseason No. 1 team in the Associated Press Top 25 preseason men’s college basketball rankings released Monday, edging out a loaded field of blue bloods to claim the top spot for the fourth time in school history. The Jayhawks earned 46 of a possible 63 first-place votes to earn the distinction for the second time in five years and fourth time in the modern era.
Five teams in total earned at least one first-place vote from voters in the preseason AP Top 25 with Duke, ranked No. 2 in the poll, finishing with the second-most behind Kansas with 11. Purdue, ranked No. 3 in the poll, earned the third-most with three. UConn had the fourth-most with two but came in at No. 6 in the poll. Michigan State was the only other team to garner first-place votes with one, though it ranked two spots ahead of the reigning national champion Huskies and came in at No. 4. Marquette ranked fifth in the poll but was the only team ranked in the top six to not earn a first-place vote.
Kansas earned preseason No. 1 honors in the AP poll most recently in 2018-19 before going on to finish No. 17 in the poll after a 26-10 season. It also earned preseason No. 1 in 2009-10 and in 2004-05, where it finished the season ranked No. 1 and No. 12 in the poll, respectively.
After opening the 2022-23 season as the defending national champions, Kansas was ranked preseason No. 5 last year and finished No. 4 in the final AP poll of the season while going on to win 28 games. KU then seemingly upgraded its already-strong roster this offseason by returning three starters — Kevin McCullar Jr., Dajuan Harris and K.J. Adams — while adding the best transfer out of the portal in Michigan big man Hunter Dickinson, a three-time All-Big Ten performer.
The history of preseason No. 1 teams has largely been strong since the NCAA expanded its tournament format in 1985, with six preseason No. 1 teams going on to win the NCAA championship and 18 going on to reach at least the Final Four, including most recently preseason No. 1 Gonzaga in 2020-21, which went on to finish runner-up in the NCAA championship. That has not always been the case of late, though, as preseason No. 1 North Carolina last season made history as the first-ever preseason No. 1 to miss the NCAA Tournament in the expansion era.
Preseason AP Top 25
1. Kansas (46)
2. Duke (11)
3. Purdue (3)
4. Michigan State (1)
6. UConn (2)
13. Miami (FL)
15. Texas A&M
17. San Diego State
19. North Carolina
23. Saint Mary’s
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.