Virginia ranked No. 5, Virginia Tech No. 15 in AP preseason basketball poll
They spent much of the 2017-18 season ranked No. 1 in the country. Then, they made history in the worst imaginable way.
But the Virginia Cavaliers did not receive much of a drawback in the first Associated Press poll of the new season, as voters put UMBC’s March upset out of mind and ranked Virginia No. 5 in the 2018-19 preseason poll.
Virginia received two first-place votes and was the second-highest ranked ACC team, one spot behind No. 4 Duke. Kansas, Kentucky and Gonzaga were the top three.
Isaiah Wilkins and Devon Hall have graduated, but Virginia returns most of its starters and other top players, including Kyle Guy, Ty Jerome, Jack Salt, De’Andre Hunter and Mamadi Diakite.
Not far behind the Cavaliers are their in-state rivals, No. 15 Virginia Tech.
Tech handed Virginia one of their two regular-season losses last year, a 61-60 overtime win in Charlottesville on Feb. 10. The Hokies finished last season 21-12 with a first-round NCAA Tournament exit at the hands of Alabama.
Elsewhere in the region, Maryland missed out on the Top 25 but received 28 votes, enough to make them the de facto 31st-ranked team if the poll went down that far.