North Carolina is ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press preseason men’s basketball poll for a record ninth time.
The Tar Heels return four starters and nine of their 10 top scorers from the team that reached the round of 16 in the 2015 NCAA Tournament.
North Carolina received 35 first-place votes from the 65-member national media panel in the pollreleased Monday.
Kentucky is ranked second with 10 first-place votes, followed by Maryland (14) at No. 3 and Kansas (5) at No. 4.
Defending national champion Duke is ranked fifth and Virginia (one first-place vote) sixth, followed by Iowa State, Oklahoma, Gonzaga and Wichita State.
Villanova is No. 11, followed by Arizona, Michigan State, California, Indiana, Utah, Wisconsin, Vanderbilt, Notre Dame, Connecticut, LSU, Baylor, Purdue, Butler and Michigan to round out the AP Top 25.