KANSAS CITY, Mo. — While the Kansas Jayhawks football team has been the talk of Lawrence with its fast start, the men's basketball looks to pick up the baton.
The Associated Press men's college basketball preseason poll was released Monday and KU, the defending national champions, begin the season ranked No. 5.
North Carolina, who lost to the Jayhawks in the championship game, will start the season ranked No. 1, receiving 47 first-place votes.
Gonzaga, Houston and Kentucky round out the teams that received more votes than the Jayhawks, who were the only team in the top five to not receive any first-place votes.
Fellow Big 12 rivals Baylor, Texas, TCU and Texas Tech are also in the top 25 to begin the preseason.
The Bears are tied for fifth alongside the Jayhawks. The Longhorns and Horned Frogs will begin the season ranked 12th and 14th, respectively, while the Red Raiders check in 25th.
The Big 12 is tied with the SEC for most teams in the poll with five each.
The Jayhawks enter the season as defending national championship, but will need to replace several key contributors — including David McCormack, Ochai Agbaji and Christian Braun — who graduated or were drafted.