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Men's Basketball Named Preseason No. 1 By Associated Press
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 11/11/2002
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Nov. 11, 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 Associated Press Poll released Monday.

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 media with a total of 1,773 points. The Wildcats also received 50 of a possible 72 first place votes. Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Pittsburgh round out the top five places.

It is the third time in school history that the Wildcats have entered a season ranked No. 1 by the Associated Press and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. The 1997-98 and 2000-01 squads also opened the season as the top-ranked team in the nation in the two major college polls. All told, Arizona has occupied the top spot in the media poll in 15 different polling periods since the 1987-88 campaign.

Arizona opens the 2002-03 campaign in Tucson against No. 20 Western Kentucky on Sat., Nov. 23. Five opponents on Arizona's 2002-03 schedule are ranked in this preseason top 25.

2002-03 Preseason Associated Press Poll


Rnk	Team (first place votes)	Points
1.	ARIZONA (50)               	1,773
2.	Kansas (14)             	1,715
3.	Oklahoma (6)            	1,640
4.	Texas                   	1,422
5.	Pittsburgh (1)          	1,404
6.	Duke                     	1,394
7.	Florida                 	1,298
8.	Alabama                 	1,295
9.	Michigan State              	1,117
10.	Xavier                  	1,016
11.	Oregon                         	  995
12.	Mississippi State        	  800
13.	Maryland                 	  789
14.	UCLA                      	  747
15.	Connecticut                	  722
16.	Georgia                 	  703
17.	Kentucky                 	  627
18.	Marquette	                  509
19.	Missouri               	          506
20.	Western Kentucky	          480
21.	Indiana                	          415
22.	Gonzaga                    	  381
23.	Cincinnati                  	  303
24.	Minnesota                  	  183
25.	Tulsa                      	  146
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