The preseason rankings for the USA Today Coaches Poll are out and the Kentucky Wildcats are your No. 1 team entering the 2013-14 college basketball season. The Michigan State Spartans come in at No. 2. However, the No. 1 team in college hoops will be decided on Nov. 12.
Why you ask? Well, that is when Kentucky and Michigan State will battle it out. So although the Wildcats will have the bragging rights entering the season, Michigan State can claim that No. 1 ranking right away.
Michigan State is returning a bunch of talent–minus Derrick Nix. The Spartans made the NCAA tournament as a No. 3 seed last year and will be one of the favorites to earn a No. 1 seed in the 2014 NCAA Tournament.
The Wildcats lost in their first game of the NIT last season. The reason behind their No. 1 ranking is simple. Kentucky is bringing in arguably the best recruiting class of all time. Plus, Alex Poythress and Willie Cauley-Stein will be back. Poythress averaged 11.2 points per game and six rebounds per game last year and Cauley-Stein averaged 8.3 points per game, 6.2 rebounds per game and 2.1 blocks per game.
The Spartans easily win the experience battle, but Kentucky is being ranked No. 1 because it is the most talented team in college hoops.
It should be an interesting matchup regardless and it could be the best one of the season. That tends to happen when No. 1 and No. 2 meet up during the regular season. Kentucky may be No. 1, but it will have to earn that ranking right off of the bat.