The USA Today Coaches Poll is officially the first preseason basketball poll to hit (digital) print this season, and the Villanova Wildcats are the lone Big East program to make the top-25. Checking in at #12, Villanova is ranked a slot below Wichita State and ahead of Gonzaga and UConn.
Kentucky took the top spot with 24 of 32 first-place votes.
The VCU rams will be the Wildcats' highest-ranked non-conference opponent in this poll, coming in at number-16. If the 'Cats advance at the Barclays Center to play Michigan, they would face another ranked opponent, with the Wolverines checking in at number-23. Syracuse also opens the season ranked by the coaches at 24th.
It should be disappointing, but unsurprising, that no other Big East programs made the list. The Creighton Bluejays were the other top league team last season, but lost key player Doug McDermott to graduation after last season and are expected to take a step back in 2014-15. Georgetown, Xavier, and the rest of the pack have something left to prove before they will likely earn voters' respect this season.
|3||Duke Blue Devils||26-9||715||2|
|6||North Carolina Tar Heels||24-10||598||0|
|11||Wichita State Shockers||35-1||471||0|
|14||Iowa State Cyclones||28-8||323||0|
|16||Virginia Commonwealth Rams||26-9||259||0|
|17||San Diego State Aztecs||31-5||251||0|
|18||Michigan State Spartans||29-9||241||0|
|20||Ohio State Buckeyes||25-10||223||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.|