The AP has released their preseason Top 25 for the 2014-15 College Basketball season, and Villanova is the lone Big East program to make the Top25. Checking in at #12, Villanova is ranked a slot below Wichita State and ahead of Gonzaga and Iowa State.
Kentucky took the top spot with 52 of 65 first-place votes. Arizona, Wisconsin, Duke, and Kansas round out the Top 5.
The VCU Rams will be the Wildcats' highest-ranked non-conference opponent in this poll, coming in at #15. If the 'Cats advance at the Barclays Center to play Michigan, they would face another ranked opponent, with the Wolverines checking in at #24. Syracuse also opens the season ranked by the coaches at 23.
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, St. John's and the rest of the pack have something left to prove before they will likely earn voters' respect this season.
Villanova was ranked #12 in the USA Today Preseason Coaches Poll.
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|
|25 (Tie)||Harvard Crimson||0-0||98|
|25 (Tie)||Utah Utes||0-0||98|
|Others Receiving Votes: Utah 98, 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|