Five days after almost unanimously being chosen to win the ACC, the Blue Devils made more news when the preseason AP poll was released Monday.
For the eighth time ever, Duke was picked as the preseason No. 1 team in the country, tying UCLA for the second-most appearances in the top spot ever. North Carolina has the most preseason No. 1 selections with nine. Even with preseason injuries to Harry Giles and Jayson Tatum, the Blue Devils got 58 of 65 first-place votes, with Kentucky, Kansas, Villanova and Oregon rounding out the top five.
Duke will take on the Jayhawks in the Champions Classic Nov. 15.
The ACC was well-represented in the first poll of the year, as North Carolina came in at No. 6, Virginia came in at No. 8 and Louisville and Syracuse also garnered top-25 accolades. The Cardinals were selected 13th and the Orange were picked 19th. The conference's five ranked teams were tied for the most of any league with the Big Ten.
The Blue Devils will face a second top-15 team in nonconference play following their tilt against Kansas when they host No. 12 Michigan State in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge Nov. 29.
Having already been picked as the preseason No. 1 team in the country by every major outlet, Duke is familiar with the pressure that comes with the top spot, but is also hoping to buck a seven-year trend—the preseason No. 1 team has never won the national championship since the Tar Heels in 2009.
The Blue Devils will close out exhibition play against Augustana this week before taking on Marist in their season opener Nov. 11.
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