Indiana (1), Louisville (2) and Kentucky (3) will start the season 1-2-3 in the AP college hoops poll.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Looking for another sign that this will be a historic season for college basketball in Kentuckiana?
It arrived Friday at noon when the Associated Press released its preseason college basketball poll -- with Indiana ranked Number One, followed by Louisville (two) and Kentucky (three).
Not only is it the first time the schools will start the season 1-2-3, it is also the first time all three are ranked in the top five as the season begins.
In fact, it is the first time all three have been ranked in the pre-season top 10 since 1983.
IU returns all five starters from a team that finished 27-9 last season, losing to Kentucky in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. Tom Crean has added a Top 10 recruiting class to a core of players led by pre-season player of the year candidate Cody Zeller as well as seniors Christian Watford and Jordan Hulls.
Louisville returns three starters to a team that has been picked to win the Big East. Rick Pitino is counting on newcomer Luke Hancock to team with Peyton Siva and Gorgui Dieng to lead this group.
UK loses the top six guys from its NCAA championship team. But John Calipari has assembled the best freshman class in the nation and is looking for leadership from Kyle Wiltjer, his sophomore forward, and point guard Ryan Harrow, a transfer from North Carolina State.
I asked the dean of the poll – Jim O'Connell, the national college hoops writer for the Associated Press, to provide some historical perspective on the poll.
This is what he wrote:
It's never happened with all three in the top five but it has happened four times with all three in Top Ten since the preseason poll started for 1961-62 season.