College basketball is inching closer and closer, and we really know that now because the Preseason AP Top 25 is out!
The Big East Conference has just one team in the Top 25 to begin the season. Unsurprisingly, their representative is the Villanova Wildcats. The defending National Champions start off the year ranked 9th in the polls, although they did garner one first-place vote.
The rest of the AP Top 10 features, in order: the Kansas Jayhawks, Kentucky Wildcats, Gonzaga Bulldogs, Duke Blue Devils, Virginia Cavaliers, Tennessee Volunteers, Nevada Wolf Pack, North Carolina Tar Heels and, after Villanova, the Michigan State Spartans.
There were a few teams from the conference who received votes, but missed the cut. The Marquette Golden Eagles had the most in that club, receiving 124 votes to “start” 27th in the nation. The next team was the Butler Bulldogs, but they only received six votes. The St. John’s Red Storm picked up three, while the Providence Friars and Xavier Musketeers each received two.
This is the first time since the 2014-15 season that the Big East has started with just one team in the Preseason AP Top 25. Similarly, that year saw Villanova in the polls while the others were on the outside looking in. In the past three seasons, they’ve had three, three and two teams in. Since the conference “reprogramed,” this has happened thrice, with the other time happening in the 2013-14 season. That year, Marquette began the year at 17th in the poll and no one else was found.