UK voted No. 1 in Associated Press preseason poll


Forward Julius Randle smiles at the crowd as he steps on stage during Big Blue Madness at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky., on Friday, October 18, 2013. Photo by Eleanor Hasken

Staff report

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UK was voted No. 1 in the preseason Associated Press Top 25 basketball poll, which AP released Thursday.

The Cats are No. 1 before the season for the first time since the 1995-96 season and for the third time in program history.

UK will face No. 2 Michigan State University on Nov. 12 in Chicago. No. 3 University of Louisville will travel to Lexington to play the Cats on Dec. 28 at Rupp Arena.

Three points separated Michigan State and UK on the top. The Cats received 27 first-place votes while the Spartans picked 22 first-place votes and the Cardinals earned 14 first-place votes.

Duke University (two first-place votes) and the University of Kansas rounded out the top five, followed by the University of Arizona, the University of Michigan, Syracuse University, Oklahoma State University and the University of Florida.