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Kentucky narrowly topped Michigan State in The Associated Press' preseason college basketball poll. Indeed, the Wildcats have come a long way since ending last season with an NIT opening-round loss at Robert Morris. Kentucky, in fact, received 27 first-place votes and 1,546 points from the 65-member national media panel.
Here are five things to know about the poll:
CONFERENCE CALL: The Atlantic Coast Conference led the way with five teams in the preseason Top 25 (Duke, Syracuse, North Carolina, Notre Dame and Virginia). The Big Ten was next with four (Michigan State, Michigan, Ohio State and Wisconsin). The new American Athletic Conference, the Big 12 and the Pac 12 all had three teams.
The Big East, which holds the record with nine teams in one Top 25 — it did it for one week in January 2009 and for one week in January 2011 — had just Marquette in the preseason Top 25 but four schools which left the conference before this season were ranked: Louisville and Connecticut of the American Athletic Conference, and Syracuse and Notre Dame of the Atlantic Coast Conference.
ON A STREAK: Duke has the longest current consecutive streak of appearances in the Top 25. This is the Blue Devils' 117th consecutive poll, a streak that started with the preseason poll in 2007-08. Kansas is second with 85 consecutive weeks being ranked. The record is 221 consecutive polls by UCLA from 1966 until 1980.
COMING IN: Seven schools which weren't in the final poll of 2012-13 were in the preseason Top 25 starting with No. 1 Kentucky. Also unranked at the end of last season were: Connecticut, North Carolina, Virginia, Baylor, VCU and Wichita State.
SITTING ON TOP: This was Kentucky's third time as the preseason No. 1, joining 1980-81 and 1995-96. UCLA and North Carolina are tied with eight preseason No. 1 rankings while Duke is next with seven.
UNRANKED TO NO. 1: Preseason No. 1 Kentucky wasn't in the final poll last season. The Wildcats are the first preseason No. 1 not to be ranked in the previous season's final poll since Indiana was on top in 1979-80. The only other time it happened was in 1966-67 when UCLA was the preseason No. 1 after not being ranked in the final poll of the previous season.