Duke, the reigning national champion, begins this basketball season where it ended the last one: No. 1 in the Associated Press basketball poll, released Thursday.
North Carolina, which failed to make the tournament last season, is back in the top 10 – at No. 8.
And it looks as if N.C. State, with its new crop of freshmen, will have to play its was in – because although the Wolfpack received 10 votes, Virginia Tech, at No. 21, was the only other ACC school to make the top 25.
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, whoseBlue Devils now have ranked No. 1 in the preseason poll seven times since 1961-62, told the AP that being atop the poll again is an honor. But he also said he doesn’t think it’s fair to say Duke trying to repeat since there have been so many changes since his team beat Butler for its fourth national title.
"To repeat is a bad word [to use]]," he told the AP. "... What you want to do is have the same result, of winning the national championship, but figure out what journey you're going to be on along the way. And so ‘pursue’ is a good word for me, and ‘develop’. We're going to be a developing team throughout."
The same holds true for the Tar Heels, who will try to bounce back from a disappointing season that saw them lose in the NIT championship game.
“I did think last year’s prognostications on that team were very unrealistic,’’ UNC coach Roy Williams said last week, before the poll was released. “I think this year’s [are] a little unrealistic too. For me, I think we have a chance to be better and we’re working at it each and every day.”
The preseason AP order:
2. Michigan State
3. Kansas State
4. Ohio State
8. North Carolina
21. Virginia Tech
25. San Diego State
Other ACC teams receiving votes were Florida State (28 votes), N.C. State (10), Miami (4), and Georgia Tech (1)
-- Robbi Pickeral