Two West Coast juggernauts will begin the college basketball season atop the AP Top 25 poll.
Gonzaga (No. 1) and UCLA (No. 2) check in atop the AP’s preseason Top 25 poll. The Bulldogs and Bruins met in last year’s Final Four in what proved to be one of the best games in tournament history. Jalen Suggs hit a deep three at the buzzer to send Gonzaga to the National Championship.
Gonzaga lost Suggs to the NBA, but returns All-American forward Drew Timme and adds No. 1 overall recruit Chet Holmgren. UCLA, meanwhile, returns all five starters from a team that went from the NCAA Tournament play-in game as an 11-seed all the way to the Final Four.
The West Coast will be the talk of the college basketball world, at least to start the season. Gonzaga and UCLA are joined by Kansas, Villanova and Texas to round out the top five.
POLL ALERT: Gonzaga is No. 1 in the preseason AP Top 25 men's basketball poll; UCLA, Kansas, Villanova and Texas round out the top five.
— AP Top 25 (@AP_Top25) October 18, 2021
Here’s a look at the entire AP Top 25 preseason poll:
- Ohio State
- North Carolina
- Florida State
- St. Bonaventure
Outside of Kansas (No. 3), several traditional powers like Duke (No. 9) and Kentucky (No. 10) find themselves a bit lower than both usually are in preseason polls. Each should be improved after missing out on the NCAA Tournament last season.
The 2021-22 college basketball season begins on Nov. 9. Early marquee non-conference games to keep track of include Duke vs. Kentucky on Nov. 9 and Villanova at UCLA on Nov. 12.