The stage is set for the top two teams in the nation to square off in less than weeks.

Duke is ranked No. 1 in the preseason AP poll released Wednesday afternoon for the second year in a row and the ninth time in school history, and Michigan State is No. 2. If the rankings hold through the first weekend of the season, their meeting at the Champions Classic will be the first game between No. 1 and No. 2 since Kansas and Oklahoma's triple-overtime thriller in 2016.

The Blue Devils have now earned the No. 1 slot in both major preseason rankings after they topped the Coaches Poll two weeks ago, but they are not as heavy a favorite as they were entering last year. Duke received 33 of 65 first-place votes in the AP poll, far fewer than the 58 it got at this time last season, as the Spartans and No. 3 Arizona combined to pick up 31 votes. 

The ACC's top five teams are all in the top 16, with North Carolina at No. 9, Miami at No. 13, Notre Dame at No. 14 and Louisville at No. 16. The Blue Devils could also face a top-10 opponent in No. 8 Florida at the PK80 Invitational later this month in Portland, Ore., where their bracket will also include No. 18 Gonzaga.

Duke is familiar with the pressure that comes with the top ranking—its loss to South Carolina in last season's NCAA tournament continued a trend that no preseason No. 1 team has won the national championship since North Carolina in 2009.

The Blue Devils will hope to begin their quest to break that streak in their season opener Nov. 10 against Elon after playing their final exhibition Saturday against Bowie State.