Despite losing West Coast Conference player of the year Filip Petrusev, the Gonzaga Bulldogs received 28 first-place votes and 1,541 points from a 64-member national media panel. That was just enough to edge Baylor (24 first-place vote) by a single point for the top spot in the preseason Associated Press Top 25 heading toward the delayed Nov. 25 start of the season.
Villanova received 11 first-place votes and was third, followed by Virginia with the remaining first-place vote. Iowa was picked fifth behind national player of the year front-runner Luka Garza, its highest preseason ranking in school history.
Then came a wave of bluebloods with Kansas, Wisconsin, Illinois, Duke and Kentucky completing the top 10.
The Jayhawks lost Devon Dotson and Udoka Azubuike from a team that was the likely No. 1 overall seed had the NCAA Tournament been played, but they return enough firepower to give Baylor a challenge in the Big 12.
Wisconsin and Illinois join the Hawkeyes in giving the Big Ten some fresh flavor atop the poll. Young and rebuilding Duke and Kentucky could take some lumps early in the season but could be championship contenders by March.