College basketball rankings: Just like last year, Duke No. 1 in preseason coaches poll

Duke is No. 1 for the second consecutive year in the USA Today Sports preseason coaches poll that was released Thursday, this despite the fact that the roster is almost entirely different and extremely young and inexperienced.

The Blue Devils received 20 of the 32 first-place votes even though they're likely to start four freshmen. It's a testament to the recruiting class Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski and his staff enrolled -- a recruiting class featuring four five-star prospects, most notably Marvin Bagley, who is projected to be the No. 1 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. And before anybody screams "Being preseason No. 1 didn't work so well for Duke last season!" while highlighting that the Blue Devils lost in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, it's important to remember Duke battled injuries for much of the season, lost its coach for a stretch of games, never benefitted from a healthy Harry Giles and still entered Selection Sunday with more top 25-RPI wins and more top 50-RPI wins than any other school. In other words, despite the way things ended, Duke was very good last season and among the favorites to win the 2017 NCAA Tournament when the 2017 NCAA Tournament tipped. But, unfortunately for the Blue Devils, the selection committee made them play South Carolina in the state of South Carolina in the second round, and they were upset.

It happens.

But only a dummy would suggest it proves Duke wasn't good last season.

Anyway ...

Twenty-four of the 25 teams in the preseason coaches poll are also in the CBS Sports preseason Top 25 (and one) published earlier this month. The only difference -- as it relates to the first 25 schools listed, not necessarily to the order -- is that the coaches poll has Seton Hall and not Rhode Island while the Top 25 (and one) has Rhode Island and not Seton Hall. For what it's worth, the ACC led all conferences with five schools included in the coaches poll. The Big Ten has four. The Big 12, Pac-12, SEC and Big East have three each. The AAC and WCC have two each.

    Preseason Coaches Poll

  1. Duke
  2. Michigan State
  3. Kansas
  4. Kentucky
  5. Arizona
  6. Villanova
  7. Florida
  8. Wichita State
  9. North Carolina
  10. West Virginia
  11. USC
  12. Miami
  13. Cincinnati
  14. Notre Dame
  15. Minnesota
  16. Louisville
  17. Xavier
  18. UCLA
  19. Gonzaga
  20. Northwestern
  21. Purdue
  22. Saint Mary's
  23. Seton Hall
  24. Baylor
  25. Alabama

Others Receiving Votes (in order): Texas A&MVirginiaButlerMissouriTCURhode IslandProvidenceWisconsinMarylandOaklandOklahomaMichiganTexasVirginia TechOregon, SMU, CreightonGeorgiaGeorgia TechHarvardArkansasFlorida StateSouth CarolinaNevada

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Gary Parrish is an award-winning college basketball columnist and television analyst for CBS Sports who also hosts the highest-rated afternoon drive radio show in Memphis, where he lives with his wife... Full Bio

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