Three Big East teams are featured in the first AP Top 25 poll of the 2019 season.
The Seton Hall Pirates, Villanova Wildcats and Xavier Musketeers have all made the cut, giving the conference some solid recognition to kick off the upcoming year.
Villanova stands above the Pirates and Musketeers, as they begin the year ranked 10th. The Wildcats are 12 points off the ninth-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels, displaying a pretty thin margin between the two teams responsible for three of the last four National Championships.
The Hall aren’t too far behind though as they rank 12th to start the campaign. The Pirates possess maybe the best player in the Big East Conference in senior guard Myles Powell. Powell is joined by a rock solid group of players who are poised to make a run to the top of the conference this year.
This is only the fifth time in program history that the Pirates have started the season in the Preseason AP Top 25 in any capacity. It’s also the fourth-highest preseason ranking in program history, as they could not quite eclipse 10th (2000), 9th (1991) or 6th (1992). That being said, it’s still a very strong mark.
Finally, Xavier rounds out the collection at 19th. Xavier is back in the Preseason AP Top 25 after missing out a year ago. After a troublesome 19-16 year, the Musketeers figure to be much better in 2019 with Naji Marshall, Quentin Goodin and Paul Scruggs still in tow. This is the eighth time in program history that they’ve started the year in the Top 25, and the ranking of 19th is actually the lowest mark of any time they’ve been included. A good problem to have, eh?
Other Big East teams to receive votes in the first AP Top 25 of the season were the Marquette Golden Eagles (68), Georgetown Hoyas (11), Creighton Bluejays (4) and Providence Friars (1).
Here’s the full poll:
Preseason AP Top 25
|1||Michigan State Spartans||1,619 (60)|
|2||Kentucky Wildcats||1,497 (2)|
|3||Kansas Jayhawks||1,457 (3)|
|4||Duke Blue Devils||1,399|
|9||North Carolina Tar Heels||1,060|
|12||Seton Hall Pirates||863|
|13||Texas Tech Red Raiders||837|
|17||Utah State Aggies||491|
|18||Ohio State Buckeyes||407|
|20||Saint Mary's (CA) Gaels||330|