Duke is on track to be a consensus choice for No. 1 team in college basketball at the start of the season. The preseason coaches poll was unveiled on Thursday morning and the Blue Devils are atop the rankings followed by Kansas, Villanova, Kentucky and Oregon. All five programs received first-place votes.
Check out the full coaches poll below:
1. Duke (27 first-place votes)
2. Kansas (1)
3. Villanova (1)
4. Kentucky (2)
5. Oregon (1)
6. North Carolina
9. Michigan State
18. West Virginia
19. St. Mary's
24. Rhode Island
Also receiving votes: Florida State 65; Iowa State 56; California 43; Miami 35; Dayton 34; Oklahoma 33; Seton Hall 24; Texas A&M 22; Notre Dame 18; San Diego State 17; Virginia Tech 16; Wichita State 15; Southern California 14; Butler 14; Ohio State 12; Florida 11; Clemson 11; Colorado 11; Michigan 10; Pittsburgh 7; Georgia 6; Virginia Commonwealth 6; Yale 6; Chattanooga 5; Washington 4; Nevada 3; Kansas State 3; Arkansas 2; Davidson 2; Valparaiso 2; Southern Methodist 1; Utah 1.
Some takeaways on what the coaches have said with their first ranking of the year ...
1. John Calipari's team not as lauded by his peers as the media.
It's not like UK is getting disrespected here. Hardly the case. But we've got Kentucky at No. 2 in our rankings. Other rankings you can find on the Internet, similarly, have Kentucky top-two. Here, the coaches vote the youthful Wildcats in the four-slot. Calipari will surely use it as motivation. It's a completely reasonable preseason mark for a team that's adding five freshmen, including a newbie at the most important position, point guard. (That would be De'Aaron Fox.)
Ultimately, Kentucky is going to be one of the primary teams to watch not only because it's Kentucky, but because the Wildcats' non-conference schedule includes five games against teams ranked in this poll (Kansas, UNC, MSU, Louisville and UCLA).
2. The ACC and Big Ten comprise 40 percent of the poll.
With five selections apiece, the ACC and Big Ten have two more teams than any other league. And in the top 10 of the rankings, the ACC has three teams, the Big Ten two. The ACC is considered the strongest league, top to bottom, in college hoops for the season ahead.
Meanwhile, the SEC is still struggling to provide Kentucky with any companions. UK is the only program from the Southeastern Conference in the rankings, and the closest team outside the rankings, Texas A&M, would not have even cracked a top-30 ranking.
Here's a breakdown of the poll by conference.
Big Ten: 5
Big 12: 3
Big East: 3
West Coast: 2
The American: 2
Atlantic 10: 1
3. Sixty percent of the teams in this year's preseason poll were ranked in last year's preseason poll.
That's a pretty high mark, overall. It speaks to program consistency, and recruiting ability, for the top end of college basketball. Here are the teams who were ranked in last year's preseason coaches poll and are also ranked in Thursday's release: Kentucky, North Carolina, Maryland, Duke, Kansas, Virginia, Villanova, Arizona, Gonzaga, Michigan State, Indiana, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Purdue and UConn.
Iowa State was highest-ranked ranked team in last year's poll (7) to not make this year's poll. The reigning national champs, Villanova, began the 2015-16 preseason poll as the No. 9 team.
Want more rankings? Check out the CBS Sports Top 25 (and one), and especially our 1-351 rankings of every team in college basketball.