The first edition of the 2016 USA TODAY Coaches Poll for men’s college basketball is out in the fold.
The poll was released on Thursday morning, and with the college basketball season is only 22 days away from commencing, it feels like we’re now one big step closer to that fateful day.
The Big East is relatively well represented as three teams from the conference have landed in the polls. To no surprise, the defending champs are highly ranked in the first edition of the poll. The Villanova Wildcats come in at No. 3, as they start the year behind the Duke Blue Devils and Kansas Jayhawks. The ‘Cats are ahead of the Kentucky Wildcats and Oregon Ducks, who comprise the Top 5.
Your favorite conference has two teams in the Top 10 as the Xavier Musketeers check in at No. 8 in the preseason poll. The Musketeers are loaded as they enter the 2016 campaign, coming off one of their best seasons in program history and a second place finish in the Big East. Xavier is ahead of the likes of the Michigan State Spartans and Wisconsin Badgers and fall behind the North Carolina Tar Heels and Virginia Cavaliers, who comprise the bottom half of the Top 10.
You’d have to go down to the 20s to find the next team from the Big East. The Creighton Bluejays, who have missed the last two NCAA Tournaments, are the No. 23 team in the nation to start the year in the USA TODAY poll. Led by Maurice Watson Jr. and Kansas State Wildcats transfer Marcus Foster, the Jays have high expectations this season as they’ll look to make it back to the Big Dance for the first time in the post-Doug McDermott era.
A few other Big East teams received votes in the poll. The Seton Hall Pirates fetched 24 votes, and the Butler Bulldogs amassed 14 votes, which tied them with the USC Trojans.
Here’s the full poll:
|Others Receiving Votes: Florida State 65; Iowa State 56; California 43; Miami (Fla.) 35; Dayton 34; Oklahoma 33; Seton Hall 24; Texas A&M 22; Notre Dame 18; San Diego State 17; Virginia Tech 16; Wichita State 15; Southern California 14; Butler 14; Ohio State 12; Florida 11; Clemson 11; Colorado 11; Michigan 10; Pittsburgh 7; Georgia 6; Virginia Commonwealth 6; Yale 6; Chattanooga 5; Washington 4; Nevada 3; Kansas State 3; Arkansas 2; Davidson 2; Valparaiso 2; Southern Methodist 1; Utah 1.|