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Preseason college basketball rankings: Maryland opens at No. 3 in AP Poll

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Maryland begins their 2015-2016 campaign as a top five team for the first time since the 2001-2002 season when they won their sole national title.

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

The Maryland Terrapins men's basketball team will begin the season as the nation's No. 3 ranked team in the Associated Press' preseason poll, released on Monday. The last time Maryland began a season with expectations this high it finished the season atop of the college basketball world, capturing the program's only national championship with a 64-52 win over Indiana. 

It's been ten years since Maryland began a season ranked in the AP's top 25. This marks just the 9th time its made a preseason appearance in the poll in the last  25 years, which is somewhat hard to believe. In the 93 year history of the program, Maryland has never begun the season as the AP's No. 1 team.

The Terps enter the 2015-2016 campaign with high expectations following a very successful inaugural campaign in the Big Ten, in which they went 28-7, finished 2nd in the conference with a 14-4 record, and returned to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2010.

With sophomore Melo Trimble and senior Jake Layman electing to return to College Park, coupled with the addition of transfers Rasheed Sulaimon and Robert Carter and five-star freshman center Diamond Stone, the Terrapins once again have the talent to contend for a national title.

North Carolina begins the season as the No. 1 team, followed by Kentucky. Kansas and Duke round out the top five. Six Big Ten teams begin the season in the top 25: Maryland No. 3, Michigan State No. 13, Indiana No. 15, Wisconsin No. 17, Purdue No. 23 and Michigan No. 25.

The full poll is below:

2015-16 AP Preseason Poll

RANK TEAM (FIRST) POINTS
1 North Carolina Tar Heels (35) 1566
2 Kentucky Wildcats (10) 1520
3 Maryland Terrapins (14) 1487
4 Kansas Jayhawks (5) 1410
5 Duke Blue Devils 1350
6 Virginia Cavaliers (1) 1347
7 Iowa State Cyclones 1185
8 Oklahoma Sooners 1088
9 Gonzaga Bulldogs 1047
10 Wichita State Shockers 1032
11 Villanova Wildcats 1013
12 Arizona Wildcats 917
13 Michigan State Spartans 838
14 California Golden Bears 757
15 Indiana Hoosiers 755
16 Utah Utes 499
17 Wisconsin Badgers 433
18 Vanderbilt Commodores 393
19 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 360
20 Connecticut Huskies 307
21 LSU Tigers 268
22 Baylor Bears 265
23 Purdue Boilermakers 236
24 Butler Bulldogs 223
25 Michigan Wolverines 126
Others Receiving Votes: Oregon (0-0) 116; SMU (0-0) 112; West Virginia (0-0) 84; Texas A&M (0-0) 72; Cincinnati (0-0) 63; Miami (Fla.) (0-0) 48; Louisville (0-0) 46; Georgetown (0-0) 23; NC State (0-0) 19; Florida State (0-0) 18; Texas (0-0) 18; Rhode Island (0-0) 17; Dayton (0-0) 12; Xavier (0-0) 12; Providence (0-0) 10; Iowa (0-0) 6; Brigham Young (0-0) 5; Valparaiso (0-0) 5; Boise State (0-0) 4; Old Dominion (0-0) 3; Oklahoma State (0-0) 2; UCLA (0-0) 2; San Diego State (0-0) 2; Central Michigan (0-0) 1; UC Irvine (0-0) 1; Iona (0-0) 1; Yale (0-0) 1