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Where Alabama basketball ranks in the AP preseason poll

Alabama celebrates their 80 to 79 win against LSU in the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament Championship game at Bridgestone Arena Sunday, March 14, 2021 in Nashville, Tenn. Photo | USA TODAY
Alabama celebrates their 80 to 79 win against LSU in the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament Championship game at Bridgestone Arena Sunday, March 14, 2021 in Nashville, Tenn. Photo | USA TODAY

For the first time in a decade, Alabama basketball will begin the season ranked in the Associated Press’ preseason top 25. The Crimson Tide was tabbed at No. 14 in this season’s poll which was released Monday.

Gonzaga was ranked as the No. 1 team in the poll, receiving 55 over the 63 first-place votes. UCLA came in at No. 2, picking up the other eight first-place votes. Kansas, Villanova and Texas rounded out the top five.

The SEC has five teams ranked in the poll including, No. 10 Kentucky, No. 14 Alabama, No. 16 Arkansas, No. 18 Tennessee and No. 22 Auburn. Other ranked teams on Alabama's regular-season schedule include No. 1 Gonzaga, No. 8 Baylor, No. 12 Memphis and No. 15 Houston.

The last time Alabama started the season ranked was in 2011 when it was ranked No. 19 in the preseason poll. The Tide went 21-12 that season, losing to Creighton in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Last season, Alabama basketball finished 26-7, winning both the SEC regular-season title and the conference tournament. The Tide advanced to the Sweet 16 before being eliminated from the NCAA Tournament with a 88-78 overtime loss to UCLA.

Alabama is heading into its third season with head coach Nate Oats at the helm. The Tide returns its two leading scorers from last season in Jaden Shackelford (14.0 points per game) and Jahvon Quinerly (12.9 ppg). Alabama also brought in the No. 13 overall player in this year’s class in five-star point guard JD Davison.

Alabama will begin its season on Nov. 19 when it hosts Lousiana Tech.

AP Top 25 preseason poll 

1. Gonzaga (55)

2. UCLA (8)

3. Kansas

4. Villanova

5. Texas

6. Michigan

7. Purdue

8. Baylor

9. Duke

10. Kentucky

11. Illinois

12. Memphis

13. Oregon

14. Alabama

15. Houston

16. Arkansas

17. Ohio State

18. Tennessee

19. North Carolina

20. Florida State

21. Maryland

22. Auburn

23. St. Bonaventure

24. UConn

25. Virginia