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Vanderbilt Basketball Ranked 18th in Preseason AP Poll

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Vanderbilt earned the #18 spot in the Associated Press preseason top 25 rankings on Monday.

Damian Jones poses with the seventh-grader he adopted this offeseason.
Damian Jones poses with the seventh-grader he adopted this offeseason.
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The NCAA's top basketball coaches voted Vanderbilt as the 20th best team in the nation heading into 2016. The Associated Press did them two better.

The AP ranked the Commodores 18th in their first poll of the season, placing them second in the Southeastern Conference behind #2 Kentucky. LSU is the only other conference opponent to make the rankings. The Tigers placed 21st in the preseason panel. Texas A&M, the only other SEC program to garner media votes, was slotted in at a de facto 29th. The Wildcats and Aggies are two of the five teams that Vanderbilt will have to play twice this season; the other three are Florida, Tennessee, and Auburn.

Two of the 'Dores non-conference opponents were included in the AP's rankings. Vandy will travel to both #22 Baylor and #23 Purdue this winter. #15 Indiana, #4 Kansas, and (#47) UCLA are potential neutral site opponents after the first round of the Maui Invitational.

While the poll wasn't overly bullish on the SEC's prospects, the press loved the Atlantic Coast Conference's chances to bring back-to-back national titles to their trophy case. Three ACC teams - and one former ACC team (Maryland) occupied the top six spots in the rankings. The SEC had as many top 25 programs (three) as major conferences like the Pacific-12, but fewer than the ACC (four), Big Ten (six), and Big 12 (four).

2015-16 AP Preseason Poll

RANK TEAM (FIRST) POINTS
1 North Carolina Tar Heels (35) 1566
2 Kentucky Wildcats (10) 1520
3 Maryland Terrapins (14) 1487
4 Kansas Jayhawks (5) 1410
5 Duke Blue Devils 1350
6 Virginia Cavaliers (1) 1347
7 Iowa State Cyclones 1185
8 Oklahoma Sooners 1088
9 Gonzaga Bulldogs 1047
10 Wichita State Shockers 1032
11 Villanova Wildcats 1013
12 Arizona Wildcats 917
13 Michigan State Spartans 838
14 California Golden Bears 757
15 Indiana Hoosiers 755
16 Utah Utes 499
17 Wisconsin Badgers 433
18 Vanderbilt Commodores 393
19 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 360
20 Connecticut Huskies 307
21 LSU Tigers 268
22 Baylor Bears 265
23 Purdue Boilermakers 236
24 Butler Bulldogs 223
25 Michigan Wolverines 126
Others Receiving Votes: Oregon (0-0) 116; SMU (0-0) 112; West Virginia (0-0) 84; Texas A&M (0-0) 72; Cincinnati (0-0) 63; Miami (Fla.) (0-0) 48; Louisville (0-0) 46; Georgetown (0-0) 23; NC State (0-0) 19; Florida State (0-0) 18; Texas (0-0) 18; Rhode Island (0-0) 17; Dayton (0-0) 12; Xavier (0-0) 12; Providence (0-0) 10; Iowa (0-0) 6; Brigham Young (0-0) 5; Valparaiso (0-0) 5; Boise State (0-0) 4; Old Dominion (0-0) 3; Oklahoma State (0-0) 2; UCLA (0-0) 2; San Diego State (0-0) 2; Central Michigan (0-0) 1; UC Irvine (0-0) 1; Iona (0-0) 1; Yale (0-0) 1