John Calipari’s young Kentucky Wildcats will start the 2013-14 season ranked No. 1 in the country.
The USA Today pre-season coaches’ poll was released Thursday with UK in the top spot and receiving 16 of 32 first-place votes. It is the first time in the history of the poll — which started in 1991 — that a team will begin the season No. 1 after finishing the previous season unranked.
UK is followed by No. 2 Michigan State and No. 3 Louisville. The Cats will face both schools in non-conference play this season. The defending champion Cardinals received 10 first-place votes. Michigan State and No. 4 Duke received three each.
Rounding out the Top 10 were No. 5 Arizona, No. 6 Kansas, No. 7 Syracuse, No. 8 Florida, No. 9 Michigan and No. 10 Ohio State.
North Carolina — another one of UK’s non-conference opponents — is ranked No. 11. Baylor, which UK will face Dec. 6, had the most votes of any team not in the Top 25.
UK and Florida are the only two teams from the Southeastern Conference in the Top 25. Tennessee was fifth on the also-receiving-votes list.
COMPLETE TOP 25: Click here for the full rankings