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Tennessee basketball ranked No. 12 in preseason AP Top 25

Tennessee and Kentucky are the only SEC teams to make the cut in this preseason poll

KNOXVILLE, Tenn — The Tennessee basketball team is ranked No. 12 in the preseason Top 25 from The Associated Press, one of only two SEC schools to make the cut.

Gonzaga will begin the college basketball season at No. 1 for the first time. The Zags earned 28 first-place votes in the preseason poll. That was four more first-place votes than second-place Baylor and gave the Bulldogs the top spot by a single point. 

Villanova received 11 first-place votes and was third while Virginia received one first-place vote and was fourth.

Iowa was fifth behind national player of the year contender Luka Garza.

Kentucky is the top-ranked SEC team, coming in at No. 10. Tennessee is No. 12.

Expectations are high for Rick Barnes and the team, which returns with a lot of talent this year, including seniors John Fulkerson and Yves Pons. They've also added some really promising newcomers, including graduate transfer E.J. Anosike and some promising freshman. Five-star guards Keon Johnson and Jaden Springer are on the roster as well as four-star forward Corey Walker.