Florida Gators basketball will open the 2014-15 campaign ranked No. 7 in the USA Today Coaches’ Poll, which released its preseason edition on Thursday.
After falling to UConn in the Final Four of the 2014 NCAA Touranment, Florida finished No. 3 in the final 2013-14 poll with Kentucky – the team it defeated thrice during the regular season – one spot ahead of it at No. 2.
UK is ranked No. 1 in the USA Today presesaon poll, garnering 24-of-32 first-place votes. Arizona (3), Duke (2), Wisconsin (3) and Kansas round out the top five.
Florida will face Kentucky (No. 1) twice during league play and take on both Kansas (No. 5) and UConn (No. 15) in non-conference action.
UF could also face Wisconsin (No. 4), North Carolina (No. 6) and/or Oklahoma (No. 19) as part of the 2014 Battle 4 Atlantis tournament in the Bahamas.
Preseason 1-5: Kentucky (24), Arizona (3), Duke (2), Wisconsin (3), Kansas
6-10: North Carolina, Florida, Virginia, Louisville, Texas
11-15: Wichita State, Villanova, Gonzaga, Iowa State, UConn
16-20: VCU, San Diego State, Michigan State, Oklahoma, Ohio State
21-25: Nebraska, SMU, Michigan, Syracuse, Iowa
Among the 32 coaches voting in the 2014-15 poll are VCU’s Shaka Smart (a former Florida assistant) and Georgia head coach Mark Fox.