With the release of today’s college hoops AP preseason poll, the North Carolina Tar Heels further cemented themselves as one of college basketball’s most storied programs.
The Tar Heels, returning all five starters from last season’s Elite 8 team, were the landslide #1 (62/65 votes) in the Associated Press’ preseason poll. It’s the eighth time they have been #1 with a bullet since the poll started in 1961-62.
You can compare this poll versus our poll, which we initially released the day after the 2011 National Title game.
And the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll
The honor breaks a tie with Duke, their hated rival and moves them into a new tie with UCLA for first place in this category.
From the AP:
With the frontcourt of Harrison Barnes, John Henson and Tyler Zeller all passing up the chance to enter the NBA draft and point guard Kendall Marshall having a chance to run the team for the whole season instead of just the last 20 games, the Tar Heels have the personnel to start the season comfortably atop the poll.
“I’m happy that people feel this positive about our team, but the great thing about college basketball is you have to get it done on the court,” Williams said. “This gives us a goal and it’s up to us to work hard and be the best team we can be to reach that goal.”
North Carolina has been the preseason No. 1 in three of the last five seasons. In 2008-09, the Tar Heels were a unanimous preseason No. 1 with five starters back, and that season ended with a national championship.
Kentucky, who eliminated the Heels last season are #2, and they received zero first place votes. Ohio State got one first-place vote, and defending national champion #4 Connecticut, which received the other two No. 1 votes.
Syracuse, Duke, Vanderbilt, Florida, Louisville and Pittsburgh round out the top 10.
Memphis, Baylor, Kansas, Xavier, Wisconsin Badgers, Arizona, UCLA, Michigan Wolverines, Alabama, Texas A&M, Cincinnati Bearcats, Marquette, Gonzaga, California and Missouri finish out the top 25.
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