The Tar Heels, who return all five starters from the team that reached the regional finals last season, were the runaway No. 1 in The Associated Press’ men’s preseason Top 25 on Friday. It is the eighth time they have received that honor since the preseason poll started in 1961-62.
That breaks a tie with Tobacco Road rival Duke and moves them into a tie with UCLA, the program that dominated the sport unlike any other under coach John Wooden.
“It shows that North Carolina basketball has had a tremendous level of success over a long, long period of time,” coach Roy Williams said. “We are very proud of that and this is another indication of the program’s great history.”
North Carolina received all but three of the No. 1 votes cast by the 65-member national media poll, finishing well ahead of Kentucky, the team that eliminated the Tar Heels last season one step from the Final Four.
Duke was ranked No.3, but no other ACC team cracked the top 25. The T.A.H. crack research team wasn’t sure when the last time was that only two ACC teams were in AP Preseason poll, but we’re pretty sure it’s been awhile...