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First AP preseason college basketball poll has Gonzaga, UCLA, Kansas ahead of pack

The Gonzaga Bulldogs are right back to the top after falling 40 minutes short of a perfect season last year.

Head coach Mark Few of the Gonzaga Bulldogs looks on during the National Championship game of the 2021 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament against the Baylor Bears at Lucas Oil Stadium on April 05, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

The first AP college basketball poll of the 2021-22 season is here, and the Gonzaga Bulldogs are listed as the No. 1 team in the country.

Despite losing Jalen Suggs to the NBA and having no Mark Few for the early season thanks to a DUI charge, the Zags return Drew Timme and Andrew Nembhard to a team that adds 7’0 freshman and No. 1 prospect Chet Holmgren.

UCLA was just seconds from being eliminated in the First Four of the NCAA Tournament last year. Instead Mick Cronin and the Bruins ended up in the Final Four, and return Johnny Juzang to Westwood for his junior year in a move that surprised plenty. Juzang should be one of the favorites for the Wooden Award this fall.

And at No. 3 is Kansas, who still hasn’t gotten the all-clear from the FBI, but is still recruiting at a high level. Grad transfer Remy Martin from Arizona State to Lawrence should make an impact right away, and the Jayhawks have never lost two Big 12 titles in a row. They should be right back on time of the league this season after falling to Oklahoma State in 2021.

The only “mid-major” on the board is No. 23 St. Bonaventure, who return all five starters from last year’s A-10 champs, and add Quadry Adams from Wake Forest and Abdul Karim Coulibaly, who was Pitt’s leading shooter last season.

Here is the complete AP Preseason College Basketball Poll on October 18th:

College Basketball AP Poll Preseason

Ranking Team Last poll Conference Votes
Ranking Team Last poll Conference Votes
1 Gonzaga 1 West Coast 1,562 (55)
2 UCLA NR Pacific 12 1,459 (8)
3 Kansas 12 Big 12 1,427
4 Villanova 18 Big East 1,332
5 Texas 9 Big 12 1,315
6 Michigan 4 Big Ten 1,255
7 Purdue 20 Big Ten 1,213
8 Baylor 3 Big 12 992
9 Duke NR Atlantic Coast 963
10 Kentucky NR Southeastern 894
11 Illinois 2 Big Ten 861
12 Memphis NR American Athletic 831
13 Oregon NR Pacific 12 775
14 Alabama 5 Southeastern 713
15 Houston 6 American Athletic 694
16 Arkansas 10 Southeastern 673
17 Ohio State 7 Big Ten 581
18 Tennessee NR Southeastern 563
19 North Carolina NR Atlantic Coast 547
20 Florida State 14 Atlantic Coast 381
21 Maryland NR Big Ten 294
22 Auburn NR Southeastern 267
23 St. Bonaventure NR Atlantic 10 238
24 Connecticut NR Big East 161
25 Virginia 15 Atlantic Coast 125