Wisconsin is No. 3 in the first 2014-15 AP Poll released Friday. The Badgers are a nearly-consensus top-five pick in preseason polls and power rankings, and they'll get to start the season ranked third in the highest-profile media poll.
Kentucky is the No. 1 team for the second straight preseason. Behind the Wildcats are Arizona at No. 2, whom Wisconsin beat last March to advance to the Final Four. The Badgers ultimately lost to Kentucky, which finished as the national runner-up to UConn.
Duke and Kansas round out the top five in order. Behind them in the top 10 are North Carolina, Florida, Louisville, Virginia and Texas.
No. 3 is the Badgers' highest-ever preseason ranking. Their previous high was No. 9 in 2006.
Wisconsin begins its season Nov. 14 vs. Northern Kentucky at the Kohl Center. The Badgers return four starters and lose only shooting guard Ben Brust (graduation) from last year's rotation. All eyes will be on Frank Kaminsky and Sam Dekker, preseason All-Big Ten selections, to continue carrying the load while promising sophomores Nigel Hayes and Bronson Koenig are expected to break out even further.
|2014-15 AP Preseason Top 25|
|1||Kentucky Wildcats (52)||0-0||1604|
|2||Arizona Wildcats (5)||0-0||1518|
|3||Wisconsin Badgers (8)||0-0||1483|
|4||Duke Blue Devils||0-0||1415|
|6||North Carolina Tar Heels||0-0||1274|
|11||Wichita State Shockers||0-0||1027|
|14||Iowa State Cyclones||0-0||781|
|15||Virginia Commonwealth Rams||0-0||574|
|16||San Diego State Aztecs||0-0||560|
|18||Michigan State Spartans||0-0||521|
|20||Ohio State Buckeyes||0-0||340|
|Others Receiving Votes: Stanford 71, Iowa 58, Colorado 57, UCLA 35, Minnesota 34, Kansas St. 27, Arkansas 21, Pittsburgh 20, Memphis 15, N.C. State 14, Louisiana Tech 9, Cincinnati 8, LSU 8, Geo. Wash. 7, Oklahoma St. 6, Notre Dame 6, Dayton 6, Florida St. 5, Georgetown 5, Maryland 3, Illinois 3, UNLV 2, BYU 2, UTEP 1, S.F. Austin 1, Baylor 1, West Virginia 1|