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College basketball rankings: Just like last year, Duke No. 1 in preseason coaches poll

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College basketball rankings: Just like last year, Duke No. 1 in preseason coaches poll
Duke is No. 1 for the second consecutive year in the USA Today Sports preseason coaches poll that was released Thursday, this despite the fact that the roster is almost entirely different and extremely young and inexperienced.
The Blue Devils received 20 of the 32 first-place votes even though they're likely to start four freshmen. It's a testament to the recruiting class Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski and his staff enrolled -- a recruiting class featuring four five-star prospects, most notably Marvin Bagley, who is projected to be the No. 1 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. And before anybody screams "Being preseason No. 1 didn't work so well for Duke last season!" while highlighting that the Blue Devils lost in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, it's important to remember Duke battled injuries for much of the season, lost its coach for a stretch of games, never benefitted from a healthy Harry Giles and still entered Selection Sunday with more top 25-RPI wins and more top 50-RPI wins than any other school. In other words, despite the way things ended, Duke was very good last season and among the favorites to win the 2017 NCAA Tournament when the 2017 NCAA Tournament tipped. But, unfortunately for the Blue Devils, the selection committee made them play South Carolina in the state of South Carolina in the second round, and they were upset.

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