Maryland basketball begins play tomorrow in an exhibition against San Francisco State, which means basketball season is finally, actually here. The arrival of the AP Preseason Top 25 poll, with Kentucky at the top and Wisconsin leading the way among Big Ten teams at No. 3.
Former ACC rival Duke comes in at No. 4, first among teams not receiving any first-place votes, while North Carolina slots in at No. 6. The ACC has five teams in the poll (including new arrival Louisville and nearly new arrival Syracuse), while the Big Ten also has five (a more bottom-loaded group, however).
More surprising (and much more interesting to Maryland fans) is that the Terrapins received three points in the poll, two less than Georgetown and the same amount as fellow Big Ten school Illinois. Maryland missed both the NCAA Tournament and NIT last season and saw five transfers leave the program in the offseason, but at least one voter sees them among the Top 25. It could be one voter placing them at No. 23 or multiple in the Nos. 24-25 range -- we've seen the same for football this season, which received three points after their wins over Indiana and Iowa.
The full poll:
2014-15 AP Preseason Top 25
|1||Kentucky Wildcats (52)||0-0||1604|
|2||Arizona Wildcats (5)||0-0||1518|
|3||Wisconsin Badgers (8)||0-0||1483|
|4||Duke Blue Devils||0-0||1415|
|6||North Carolina Tar Heels||0-0||1274|
|11||Wichita State Shockers||0-0||1027|
|14||Iowa State Cyclones||0-0||781|
|15||Virginia Commonwealth Rams||0-0||574|
|16||San Diego State Aztecs||0-0||560|
|18||Michigan State Spartans||0-0||521|
|20||Ohio State Buckeyes||0-0||340|
|Others Receiving Votes: Stanford 71, Iowa 58, Colorado 57, UCLA 35, Minnesota 34, Kansas St. 27, Arkansas 21, Pittsburgh 20, Memphis 15, N.C. State 14, Louisiana Tech 9, Cincinnati 8, LSU 8, Geo. Wash. 7, Oklahoma St. 6, Notre Dame 6, Dayton 6, Florida St. 5, Georgetown 5, Maryland 3, Illinois 3, UNLV 2, BYU 2, UTEP 1, S.F. Austin 1, Baylor 1, West Virginia 1|