Villanova was ranked 10th in the Associated Press preseason college basketball top 25 poll released Monday.
The Wildcats finished 26-10 last season, winning both the Big East regular-season and tournament championships before being eliminated in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. They will start this season with no scholarship seniors and eight freshmen and sophomores on their roster.
“I appreciate the respect the voters have for our last few seasons,” Villanova coach Jay Wright said. “I think that is what this is indicative of. But we’ve got a lot to prove to be the No. 10 team in the country.”
Michigan State was the runaway choice of media members as the nation’s No. 1 team, receiving 60 of the 65 first-place votes. No. 2 Kentucky netted two first-place votes, and third-ranked Kansas got the other three.
Duke placed fourth in the poll, with Louisville coming in fifth. Florida was sixth, followed by Maryland, Gonzaga, North Carolina and Villanova.
The Big East had two other teams — No. 12 Seton Hall and No. 19 Xavier — in the top 25. Memphis of the American Athletic Conference came in at 14th, and Virginia Commonwealth of the Atlantic 10 was voted No. 25.