Flashback: N.C. State opens ahead of Duke, UNC in AP poll

Wolfpack is No. 6 in preseason poll, followed by No. 8 Duke and No. 11 UNC

jgiglio@newsobserver.comOctober 27, 2012 

  • AP Men’s Top 25 The top 25 teams in The Associated Press’ preseason college basketball poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, 2011-12 final records, total points based on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-place vote and 2011-12 final ranking:
    Rk. TeamRecordPtsPrv
    1. Indiana (43)27-91,59216
    2. Louisville (20)30-101,56817
    3. Kentucky (2)38-21,4531
    4. Ohio St.31-81,2927
    5. Michigan24-101,29013
    6. NC State24-131,270_
    7. Kansas32-71,2106
    8. Duke27-71,0948
    9. Syracuse34-31,0622
    10. Florida26-1193625
    11. North Carolina32-69044
    12. Arizona23-12902_
    13. UCLA19-14840_
    14. Michigan St.29-87895
    15. Missouri30-56643
    16. Creighton29-662219
    17. Memphis26-9539_
    18. UNLV26-948823
    19. Baylor30-84869
    20. San Diego St.26-846322
    21. Gonzaga26-7384_
    22. Notre Dame22-12297_
    23. Wisconsin26-1028514
    24. Cincinnati26-11120_
    25. Florida St.25-1010110
    Others receiving votes: Murray St. 59, VCU 58, Saint Louis 46, Texas 46, Minnesota 40, Butler 33, Pittsburgh 32, Saint Joseph’s 25, Marquette 23, Tennessee 15, Oklahoma St. 14, Kansas St. 12, Georgetown 9, New Mexico 9, Ohio 9, Miami 8, Saint Mary’s (Cal) 6, West Virginia 6, Davidson 5, Drexel 5, N. Iowa 5, Valparaiso 3, Lehigh 2, Stanford 2, Colorado St. 1, Oral Roberts 1.

N.C. State had not opened a basketball season ranked ahead of North Carolina and Duke in 37 years.

That changed Friday.

The Wolfpack is ranked No. 6 in the preseason AP Top 25, two spots ahead of Duke (No. 8) and five spots ahead of the Tar Heels (No. 11). The 1974-75 preseason poll is the last time State was voted ahead of both of its Triangle rivals to start the season.

It’s also the first time all three opened a season among the top 15 teams, and just the fifth time they’ve entered a season in the top 20.

N.C. State returns four starters from a 24-win team that reached the Sweet 16. Coach Mark Gottfried’s second team was also picked to win the ACC for the first time since ’75 and is ranked No. 6 in the country by the coaches in the USA Today poll.

It’s the first time N.C. State has opened the season in the top 25 since the 2007-08 season. That season, former coach Sidney Lowe’s second team, ended with nine consecutive losses and a 15-16 record.

The Pack had not been ranked higher than UNC in the preseason top 25 since 1984-85.

It’s the 10th time N.C. State has been ranked in the preseason top 10 since the ACC was formed in 1953 but first time since 1975. All three teams with David Thompson in the 1970s opened the season in the top 10, with the 1974-75 team as the preseason No. 1.

It’s the 17th straight season Duke, which is coming off of a 27-7 season, has been ranked in the preseason top 15. The Tar Heels, 32-6 a season ago, have been ranked in the preseason top 15 in nine of coach Roy Williams’ 10 seasons with eight times in the top 10.

Duke also has appeared in 201 consecutive AP polls, the longest active streak in the nation.

The three teams will face three Top 5 teams in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.

UNC travels to play No. 1 Indiana, Duke welcomes No. 4 Ohio State, and N.C. State visits No. 5 Michigan.

Giglio: 919-829-8938 or twitter.com/jwgiglio

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