Kentucky received 24 first-place votes and 785 points from a nationwide panel of coaches.
McLean, VA (SportsNetwork.com) -
Kentucky nearly captured the men's basketball national championship last spring and will start this season as the top-ranked team in the preseason USA Today coaches' poll.
The Wildcats were the top team in last year's preseason poll, then struggled early in the season before making a stirring run in the NCAA Tournament. John Calipari's team entered the tourney as an eighth seed, but advanced to the title game before falling short in a 60-54 loss to Connecticut.
There won't be the usual re-tooling for the Wildcats, who didn't suffer as many one-and-done players as in the recent past. Although Julius Randle and James Young did leave after their freshman seasons, Kentucky will return sophomores Andrew and Aaron Harrison, Dakari Johnson and Marcus Lee, as well as juniors Alex Poythress and Willie Cauley-Stein.