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College basketball rankings: Wisconsin opens No. 4 in Coaches Poll Top 25

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The Badgers will begin the season as a top-five team in the coaches' eyes.

Tom Pennington

The first major preseason college basketball poll of the 2014-15 season was released Thursday, giving the Wisconsin Badgers the top-five standing most expected following last year's Final Four run. The Badgers open at No. 4 in the USA Today Coaches Poll, behind only Kentucky, Arizona and Duke.

Kansas rounds out the top five, while the next Big Ten team is Michigan State at No. 18. Ohio State and Nebraska check in at Nos. 20 and 21, respectively, while Michigan and Iowa are Nos. 23 and 25, respectively.

The Coaches Poll comes shortly after the Big Ten named Wisconsin its unanimous preseason favorite before Thursday's conference media day in Chicago. Frank Kaminsky was also named the conference's preseason Player of the Year, accompanying teammate Sam Dekker on the preseason All-Big Ten team.

Wisconsin begins its season Oct. 26 at the annual Red/White Scrimmage in the Kohl Center before an exhibition Nov. 5 vs. UW-Parkside and then the regular-season opener Nov. 14 vs. Northern Kentucky.

2014-15 USA TODAY MEN'S BASKETBALL COACHES POLL, WEEK 1
RANK TEAM RECORD POINTS 1ST PLACE VOTES
1 Kentucky 29-11 785 24
2 Arizona 33-5 746 3
3 Duke 26-9 715 2
4 Wisconsin 30-8 706 3
5 Kansas 25-10 654 0
6 North Carolina 24-10 598 0
7 Florida 36-3 568 0
8 Virginia 30-7 519 0
9 Louisville 31-6 507 0
10 Texas 24-11 479 0
11 Wichita State 35-1 471 0
12 Villanova 29-5 439 0
13 Gonzaga 29-7 423 0
14 Iowa St. 28-8 323 0
15 Connecticut 32-8 292 0
16 Virginia Commonwealth 26-9 259 0
17 San Diego State 31-5 251 0
18 Michigan State 29-9 241 0
19 Oklahoma 23-10 237 0
20 Ohio State 25-10 223 0
21 Nebraska 19-13 156 0
22 Southern Methodist Univ. 27-10 149 0
23 Michigan 28-9 139 0
24 Syracuse 28-6 128 0
25 Iowa 20-13 56 0
Others Receiving Votes: Harvard 47; Stanford 47; Kansas State 37; Pittsburgh 36; Utah 26; Memphis 25; Minnesota 18; UCLA 15; New Mexico 11; Oregon 9; Louisiana Tech 8; Colorado 8; Arkansas 8; Dayton 6; Providence 5; Notre Dame 5; Massachusetts 4; Georgetown 4; Illinois 4; Texas-El Paso 4; Florida State 3; Baylor 2; George Washington 1; Miami (Fla.) 1; Toledo 1; Saint Mary's 1.
2014-15 USA TODAY Sports Board of Coaches: Tommy Amaker, Harvard; Randy Bennett, Saint Mary's; Jim Boeheim, Syracuse; Todd Bozeman, Morgan State; Glenn Braica, St. Francis Brooklyn; Rick Byrd, Belmont; Scott Cherry, High Point; Tim Cluess, Iona; Ed Conroy, Tulane; Keith Dambrot, Akron; Scott Drew, Baylor; Matt Driscoll, North Florida Steve Fisher, San Diego State; Bruiser Flint, Drexel; Mark Fox, Georgia; John Gallagher, Hartford; Ray Harper, Western Kentucky; Dick Hunsaker, Utah Valley; George Ivory, Arkansas-Pine Bluff; Ben Jacobson, Northern Iowa; Rob Jeter, Wisconsin-Milwaukee; Danny Kaspar, Texas State; Mike McConathy, Northwestern State; Greg McDermott, Creighton; Matt Painter, Purdue; Dave Paulsen, Bucknell; Randy Rahe, Weber State; Joe Scott, Denver; Herb Sendek, Arizona State; Shaka Smart, Virginia Commonwealth; Bob Williams, UC-Santa Barbara; Mike Young, Wofford.