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Tom Crean's Indiana Hoosiers take the No. 1 spot in USA Today's preseason Top 25. Louisville, Kentucky, Ohio State and Michigan join IU in the top five.
The Indiana Hoosiers claimed the top spot in the USA Today preseason Top 25 Coaches Poll as one of five Big Ten teams to make the rankings.
Indiana, led by returning forward Cody Zeller, looks to build off an 2011 campaign in which the Hoosiers advanced to the Sweet 16 before losing to the eventual National Champion Kentucky Wildcats. It was a break-through year for the program as it was the first season under Tom Crean's four-year tenure in which the Hoosiers had a winning record or won more than four conference games.
Final Four participants Louisville and Kentucky come in at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively. Louisville, led by the return of guard Peyton Siva, look to carry momentum over from a 2011 season that saw the Cardinals win the Big East Conference tournament.
As is the story with Kentucky, the Wildcats roster features many different names from the team that won the National Championship last season. A top recruiting class highlighted by center Nerlens Noel replaces a Kentucky lineup that saw six players selected in the 2012 NBA Draft, including the top two picks, Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.
Big Ten rivals Ohio State and Michigan round out the top five. Ohio State returns point guard Aaron Craft and forward Deshaun Thomas from their 2011-2012 Final Four squad, while Michigan returns the media's Big Ten freshman of the year Trey Burke, who is supported by a top recruiting class.
The entire USA Today Top 25 can be seen below.
|Rank||School (first-place votes)||2011-12 record||Points||Last year's final ranking|
||North Carolina State||24-13||581||20|
|20||San Diego State||26-8||196||NR|
|24 (tie)||Florida State||25-10||61||15|
Others receiving votes: Saint Louis (26-8) 58; Virginia Commonwealth (29-7) 40; Cincinnati (26-11) 33; Murray State (31-2) 30; Kansas State (22-11) 13; Saint Mary's (27-6) 11; New Mexico (28-7) 10; Tennessee (19-15) 10; Minnesota (23-15) 9; Pittsburgh (22-17) 9; Marquette (27-8) 8; Stanford (26-11) 7; Butler (22-15) 6; Oklahoma State (15-18) 6; Colorado State (20-12) 4; Middle Tennessee (27-7) 3; Drexel (29-7) 2; Georgia (15-17) 2; Miami (Fla.) (20-13) 2; St. Joseph's (20-14) 2; Marshall (21-14) 1