North Carolina runaway No. 1 in AP preseason poll

JIM O'CONNELL AP Basketball Writer Published:

North Carolina is the runaway No. 1 choice in the men's preseason Top 25 by The Associated Press.

The Tar Heels return all five starters from the team that lost in the regional finals last season. They are No. 1 in the preseason poll for the eighth time, tying UCLA for the mark.

North Carolina received all but three No. 1 votes in the national media voting Friday. The Tar Heels finished well ahead of Kentucky, the team that eliminated North Carolina last season.

Ohio State drew one first-place vote and is third. Defending national champion Connecticut received the other two No. 1 votes and is fourth.

Syracuse, Duke, Vanderbilt, Florida, Louisville and Pittsburgh round out the top 10.

The Big East has six ranked teams, two more than the Big 12 and Southeastern Conference.

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