After falling just short of winning their second national championship in three years last season, the Kentucky Wildcats top USA Today's preseason college basketball Coaches Poll for the 2014-15 campaign.
As seen in this rundown of the Top 25, the SEC favorites garnered 24 out of a possible 32 first-place votes:
|USA Today Preseason College Basketball Coaches Poll|
|17||San Diego State||251||0|
Despite losing Julius Randle and James Young to the NBA, Kentucky is in the catbird seat due largely to the return of twin brothers Aaron and Andrew Harrison.
According to Kyle Tucker of The Courier-Journal, the Wildcats' occupation of the No. 1 spot isn't particularly unexpected:
Perennial contenders in Arizona, Duke, Wisconsin and Kansas round out the Top Five. The University of Connecticut, which won the national title last season, checks in at No. 15 in the wake of superstar guard Shabazz Napier making the jump to the NBA.
Wichita State, which went undefeated during the regular season in 2013-14, checks in at No. 11.
Although the poll certainly provides college basketball observers with a jumping-off point, the rankings shouldn't be taken as gospel. UConn was ranked just 19th in last year's preseason poll, while fellow Final Four team Wisconsin was No. 21.
Kentucky checks in at No. 1 for the second consecutive season, and there is no question that head coach John Calipari is hopeful that this campaign will end slightly better than the last.
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