The Kansas Jayhawks, the Texas Longhorns and the Baylor Bears are in the Top 8 of the Preseason AP Men’s Top 25 basketball poll, released on Monday.
The Gonzaga Bulldogs are the preseason No. 1. The Bulldogs occupied the top spot in the AP poll at the end of the regular season, but ultimately lost in the national championship game to Baylor.
Kansas is the highest-ranking Big 12 member in the preseason poll, coming in at No. 3. The Jayhawks finished No. 12 in last year’s final regular-season poll and return four starters.
Texas, which won the Big 12 Tournament last March, are No. 5 under new head coach Chris Beard. The Longhorns return their starting backcourt of Andrew Jones and Courtney Ramey but are rebuilding their frontcourt after the entire trio left for the NBA. The Longhorns were No. 9 in last year’s final poll.
Baylor won its first national title in April and saw four guards move on to the professional ranks. The Bears, now led by Matthew Mayer and Adam Flagler, came in at No. 8. The Bears were No. 3 in last year’s final poll.
Gonzaga received 55 of the 63 first-place votes. The other eight went to UCLA, which reached the Final Four last season.
Villanova is No. 4 and will play Baylor this season in the Big 12-Big East Battle.
Michigan is No. 6, Purdue is No. 7, Duke is No. 9 and Kentucky is No. 10.
No other big 12 teams made the preseason Top 25. However, future Big 12 member Houston is No. 15 after its Final Four run last season.
Two other Big 12 teams received votes. Oklahoma State received 25 votes and Texas Tech received 17 votes. Future Big 12 member BYU received three votes.
The regular season opens on Nov. 9.
Heartland College Sports Big 12 Basketball Preview
Top 25 Returning Players: No. 25 Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua| No. 24 Christian Braun | No. 23 Rondel Walker | No. 22 Umoja Gibson | No. 21 Matthew Alexander-Moncrieffe | No. 20 Nijel Pack | No. 19: Marcus Santos-Silva | No. 18 Mike McGuirl| No. 17 Jalen Bridges | No. 16 Kalib Boone | No. 15 Kevin McCullar | No. 14 Isaac Likekele | No. 13 Adam Flagler | No. 12 Jalen Coleman-Lands
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