Men's Basketball Named Preseason No. 1 By <i>Associated Press</i>
Nov. 11, 2002
TUCSON, Ariz. - The University of Arizona men's men's basketball team was selected as the nation's top-ranked team in the preseason Associated Press Poll released Monday.
With five starters and 10 letterwinners returning from last season's 24-10 ballclub that captured the 2002 Pacific-10 Conference Tournament championship and advanced to the NCAA West Regional semifinal, Arizona collected the preseason No. 1 ranking from the media with a total of 1,773 points. The Wildcats also received 50 of a possible 72 first place votes. Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Pittsburgh round out the top five places.
It is the third time in school history that the Wildcats have entered a season ranked No. 1 by the Associated Press and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. The 1997-98 and 2000-01 squads also opened the season as the top-ranked team in the nation in the two major college polls. All told, Arizona has occupied the top spot in the media poll in 15 different polling periods since the 1987-88 campaign.
Arizona opens the 2002-03 campaign in Tucson against No. 20 Western Kentucky on Sat., Nov. 23. Five opponents on Arizona's 2002-03 schedule are ranked in this preseason top 25.
2002-03 Preseason Associated Press Poll
Rnk Team (first place votes) Points1. ARIZONA (50) 1,7732. Kansas (14) 1,7153. Oklahoma (6) 1,6404. Texas 1,4225. Pittsburgh (1) 1,4046. Duke 1,3947. Florida 1,2988. Alabama 1,2959. Michigan State 1,11710. Xavier 1,01611. Oregon 99512. Mississippi State 80013. Maryland 78914. UCLA 74715. Connecticut 72216. Georgia 70317. Kentucky 62718. Marquette 50919. Missouri 50620. Western Kentucky 48021. Indiana 41522. Gonzaga 38123. Cincinnati 30324. Minnesota 18325. Tulsa 146