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The preseason edition of the AP Top 25 men's college basketball poll was was released Monday and the reigning NCAA Tournament runner-up, North Carolina, got the nod at the No. 1 spot amid a crowded field of worthy candidates. UNC, which brings back four of its five starters, earned 47 of a possible 62 first-place votes to edge out Gonzaga, which was No. 1 in the preseason each of the last two years.

The Zags brought in 12 of the 62 first-place votes and landed at No. 2 in the poll. Houston, the runaway favorite to win the American again this season, came in at No. 3 with one first-place vote while No. 4 Kentucky received the other two first-place votes.

Reigning national champion Kansas did not receive any first-place votes in the poll but it did earn some respect from voters. It tied in the poll tied at No. 5 with co-Big 12 member Baylor, which shared the regular-season conference title last season. No other Big 12 member was in the top 10 of the poll, though Texas schools did draw quite a bit of preseason love on the whole. Texas is ranked No. 12, TCU is ranked No. 14 and Texas Tech snuck into the poll at No. 25.

With five ranked teams, the Big 12 tied for the most among all conferences with the SEC, which also had five. (Texas A&M was the first team out of the poll, which would have given the SEC an edge.) The Big Ten, Pac-12 and ACC all had three teams apiece in the first poll, and the Big East — which had two in the top 16 — only had two total ranked teams.

Preseason AP Top 25 

1. North Carolina (47)
2. Gonzaga (12)
3. Houston (1)
4. Kentucky (2)
T5. Baylor
T5. Kansas
7. Duke
9. Creighton
10. Arkansas
11. Tennessee
12. Texas
13. Indiana
14. TCU
15. Auburn
16. Villanova
17. Arizona
18. Virginia
19. San Diego State
20. Alabama
21. Oregon
22. Michigan
23. Illinois
24. Dayton
25. Texas Tech

Others receiving votes: Texas A&M 112, UConn 101, Miami 66, Purdue 56, Saint Louis 36, Michigan State 35, Florida State 32, Xavier 29, Wyoming 25, Ohio State 23, Iowa 13, Rutgers 4, USC 3, Florida 3, Toledo 1, UAB 1, Memphis 1, Virginia Tech 1, Notre Dame 1.