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Michigan State No. 13, Michigan No. 25 in preseason AP college basketball poll

Detroit News staff and wires

The Big Ten is expected to, once again, be arguably the most competitive conference in the nation.

That showed as the league was well represented with seven teams appearing in the Associated Press preseason Top 25 men’s college basketball poll, which was released Monday.

Rocket Watts

The group was led by Iowa at No. 5, followed by Wisconsin at No. 7 and Illinois at No. 8

Michigan State checked in at No. 13 while Michigan is No. 25 as coach Juwan Howard begins his second season.

Ohio State is 23rd and Rutgers is 24th.

The Big 12 has five teams in the poll, led by Baylor at No. 2, and the ACC had four, highlighted by Virginia at No. 4.

Gonzaga topped the list at No. 1 and the top five was rounded out by Villanova at No. 3.

The 2020-21 season is slated to tip off on Nov. 25.

Poll notables

►Despite losing West Coast Conference player of the year Filip Petrusev, Gonzaga 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 votes) by a single point for the top spot.

►Gonzaga spent four weeks at No. 1 last season before finishing second to Kansas in the final poll, which was taken when the NCAA Tournament was canceled by the COVID-19 pandemic.

►Baylor, which has its highest preseason ranking, spent five weeks at No. 1 last season and only lost one starter in big man Freddie Gillespie. But coach Scott Drew could have the nation’s best backcourt in Jared Butler, Davion Mitchell and MaCio Teague, the best defender in Mark Vital and depth behind top-100 recruit L.J. Cryer and transfer Adam Flagler.

AP poll

1. Gonzaga, 1541 points (last season: 2)

2. Baylor, 1540 (5)

3. Villanova, 1501 (10)

4. Virginia, 1364 (16)

5. Iowa, 1273 (25)

6. Kansas, 1221 (1)

7. Wisconsin, 1150 (17)

8. Illinois, 1105 (21)

9. Duke, 1073 (11)

10. Kentucky, 1038 (8)

11. Creighton, 922 (7)

12. Tennessee, 919 (NR)

13. Michigan State, 820 9

14. Texas Tech, 790 (NR)

15. West Virginia, 651 (24)

16. North Carolina, 465 (NR)

17. Houston, 438 (22)

18. Arizona State, 402 (NR)

19. Texas, 380 (NR)

20. Oregon, 375 (13)

21. Florida State, 351 (4)

22. UCLA, 336 (NR)

23. Ohio State, 270 (19)

24. Rutgers, 190 (NR)

25. Michigan, 160 (NR)

►First-place votes: Gonzaga 28, Baylor 24, Villanova 11, Virginia 1.

►Others receiving votes: LSU 146, Memphis 69, Florida 69, Alabama 50, Indiana 48, Louisville 41, Richmond 40, Stanford 14, Providence 9, Saint Louis 8, Auburn 8, San Diego State 6, UConn 6, BYU 4, Loyola Chicago 3, Seton Hall 2, UNC Greensboro 1, Northern Iowa 1.