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Men's Basketball Tabbed Preseason No. 1 in ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 11/01/2002
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Nov. 1, 2002

TUCSON, Ariz. - The University of Arizona men's men's basketball team was selected as the nation's top-ranked team in the preseason ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll released Thursday night.

With five starters and 10 letterwinners returning from last season's 24-10 ballclub that captured the 2002 Pacific-10 Conference Tournament championship and advanced to the NCAA West Regional semifinal, Arizona collected the preseason No. 1 ranking from the coaches with a total of 770 points. The Wildcats also received 27 of a possible 31 first place votes. Kansas, Oklahoma, Pittsburgh and Texas round out the top five places.

It is the third time in school history that the Wildcats have earned the coaches poll preseason No. 1 ranking. The 1997-98 and 2000-01 squads also opened the season as the top-ranked team in the nation. Both of those teams were ranked No. 1 in both the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll and the Associated Press Top 25. All told, Arizona has occupied the top spot in the coaches poll in 16 different polling periods since the 1987-88 campaign.

Arizona opens the 2002-03 campaign in Tucson against No. 23 Western Kentucky on Sat., Nov. 23. Five opponents on Arizona's 2002-03 schedule are ranked in this preseason top 25.

2002-03 Preseason ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll

Rnk	Team (first place votes)	Points
1.	ARIZONA (27)             	770
2.	Kansas (3)              	740
3.	Oklahoma (1)             	680
4.	Pittsburgh               	613
5.	Texas                   	583
6.	Duke                     	574
7.	Florida                  	554
8.	Alabama                  	494
9.	Oregon                  	475
10.	Michigan State          	439
11.	Xavier                  	386
12.	UCLA                      	322
13.	Mississippi State          	321
14.	Connecticut               	314
15.	Maryland                 	285
16.	Georgia                  	269
17.	Kentucky                	262
18.	Missouri                	221
19.	Marquette                  	215
20.	Cincinnati               	168
21.	Indiana                 	167
22.	Gonzaga                  	163
23.	Western Kentucky        	151
24.	Minnesota                	 86
25.	Illinois                	 83
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