Kentucky tops preseason Associated Press Top 25

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Despite failing to make the big dance last March, Kentucky will begin the 2013-14 season on top of the college basketball world again.

One of the best recruiting classes in college basketball history has taken John Calipari's Kentucky Wildcats from outside the top 25 to a No. 1 ranking without playing a game.

The Cats captured 27 out of a possible 65 first-place votes to land the top spot in the preseason Associated Press Top 25, which was released Thursday. Second-ranked Michigan State received 22 first-place votes, defending national champion Louisville picked up another 14, and No. 4 Duke received the final two. Kansas rounded out the AP's top five.

This marks the first time in the modern era of college basketball that a team which failed to make the NCAA Tournament one season began the next as the No. 1 team in the AP poll. The Wildcats were also the preseason No. 1 in the first USA Today coaches' poll, which came out earlier this month.

Here's the complete top 25:

1. Kentucky (27) 21-12 1,546 _

2. Michigan St. (22) 27-9 1,543 9

3. Louisville (14) 35-5 1,501 2

4. Duke (2) 30-6 1,435 6

5. Kansas 31-6 1,357 3

6. Arizona 27-8 1,311 21

7. Michigan 31-8 1,120 11

8. Oklahoma St. 24-9 1,093 17

8. Syracuse 30-10 1,093 16

10. Florida 29-8 1,048 14

11. Ohio St. 29-8 1,036 7

12. North Carolina 25-11 954 _

13. Memphis 31-5 741 19

14. VCU 27-9 680 _

15. Gonzaga 32-3 538 1

16. Wichita St. 30-9 512 _

17. Marquette 26-9 510 15

18. UConn 20-10 448 _

19. Oregon 28-9 408 25

20. Wisconsin 23-12 338 18

21. Notre Dame 25-10 332 23

22. UCLA 25-10 244 24

23. New Mexico 29-6 213 10

24. Virginia 23-12 189 _

25. Baylor 23-14 180 _

Others receiving votes: Tennessee 176, Creighton 145, Indiana 111, Colorado 83, Iowa 83, Harvard 46, Boise St. 22, Villanova 14, Arizona St. 11, Georgetown 11, UNLV 8, Washington 8, LSU 6, Pittsburgh 6, Stanford 6, Boston College 5, La Salle 4, Missouri 3, Saint Louis 3, St. John's 3, Cincinnati 1.

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