By R.L. Bynum
North Carolina, already preseason No. 1 in the AP Top 25, added Tuesday the top ranking in the preseason USA Today Coaches Poll.
The Tar Heels garnered a lower percentage of first-place votes (71.8%) than in the AP poll (79%), 23 of 32, followed by No. 2 Gonzaga with five, No. 4 Kentucky with three and No. 3 Houston with one. In the AP poll, UNC got 49 of 62 first-place votes, with No. 2 Gonzaga getting 12, No. 4 Kentucky two and No. 3 Houston one.
Carolina, which advanced to the NCAA championship game last season, plays a home exhibition game at 7:30 Friday night against Johnson C. Smith (ACC Network Extra/ESPN3) before opening the season at 9 p.m. on Nov. 7 against UNC Wilmington.
The only other ACC teams in the preseason coaches poll are No. 8 Duke and No. 18 Virginia, the identical positions for both in the AP poll.
The only difference in the top 12 of both polls is that Baylor is tied for No. 5 in the AP poll and No. 6 in the coaches poll. Indiana, which UNC visits in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Nov. 30, is No. 13 in the AP poll but No. 14 in the coaches poll.
The ACC voter in the poll is Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim.
Preseason Coaches Poll
|Rank||Team||Poll points||First-place votes|
|20||San Diego St.||173||0|
Others receiving votes: Purdue 44; Texas A&M 37; Miami-Florida 31; Connecticut 31; Michigan St. 29; Providence 22; Iowa 22; Syracuse 13; Florida State 13; Virginia Tech 9; Southern California 9; Saint Mary’s 8; Wyoming 7; Wisconsin 7; UAB 6; Ohio St. 5; Florida 5; Iowa State 4; Xavier 3; Toledo 2; Rutgers 2; Drake 2; Boise St. 1.
|28||Friday||W, 101–40||Johnson C. Smith||Home||Exhibition|
|11||Friday||W, 102–86||College of Charleston||Home||2–0|
|20||Sunday||W, 80–64||James Madison||Home||4–0|
|Phil Knight Invitational|
|24||Thursday||W, 89–81||First round: Portland||Portland||5–0|
|27||Sunday||L, 103–101, |
No. 18 Alabama
|ACC/Big Ten Challenge|
|30||Wednesday||9:15||No. 11 Indiana||Bloomington, Ind.||ESPN|
|4||Sunday||3 p.m.||Virginia Tech||Blacksburg, Va.||ACCN|
|13||Tuesday||7 p.m.||The Citadel||Home||ESPN2|
|CBS Sports Classic|
|17||Saturday||3 p.m.||Ohio State||New York||CBS|
|4||Wednesday||9 p.m.||Wake Forest||Home||ACCN|
|7||Saturday||11:30 a.m.||Notre Dame||Home||ESPN2|
|10||Tuesday||9 p.m.||No. 5 Virginia||Charlottesville||ESPN or ESPN2|
|14||Saturday||2 p.m.||Louisville||Louisville, Ky.||ESPN|
|17||Tuesday||7 p.m.||Boston College||Home||RSN|
|21||Saturday||5 p.m.||N.C. State||Home||ACCN|
|24||Tuesday||9 p.m.||Syracuse||Syracuse, N.Y.||ESPN|
|4||Saturday||6:30||No. 8 Duke||Durham||ESPN|
|7||Tuesday||7 p.m.||Wake Forest||Winston-Salem||ESPN or ESPN2|
|11||Saturday||2 p.m.||Clemson||Home||ESPN or ESPN2|
|19||Sunday||1 p.m.||N.C. State||Raleigh||ESPN|
|22||Wednesday||9 p.m.||Notre Dame||South Bend, Ind.||ESPN or ESPN2|
|25||Saturday||6 or 8||No. 5 Virginia||Home||ESPN|
|27||Monday||7 p.m.||Florida State||Tallahassee, Fla.||ESPN|
|4||Saturday||6 or 6:30||No. 8 Duke||Home||ESPN|
Photo courtesy of the ACC