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College basketball: Indiana Hoosiers No. 1 in preseason poll; Florida Gators 10th, Florida State Seminoles 24th

Indiana, which returns four starters from the team that went 27-9 and reached the Sweet 16 last season, was named college basketball's preseason No. 1 in the coaches poll released Wednesday.

Florida, which went 26-11 with an Elite Eight appearance last season, is 10th. Florida State is tied for 24th with Texas.

Led by center Cody Zeller, the Hoosiers collected 21 of the 31 first-place votes and received their first top ranking since the end of the 1992-93 regular season. They led a five-team contingent from the Big Ten, with Ohio State at No. 4, Michigan fifth, Michigan State 14th and Wisconsin 21st.

Hoosiers coach Tom Crean welcomes the challenge of being a seasonlong target at the top.

"I think it'd be crazy to try to shy away from it," Crean told USA Today. "If we were, our kids would look at us and roll their eyes. We don't talk about it much. We talk about living up to the standards that we need to live up to on a daily basis to have it that way at the end of the year."

Louisville is No. 2 and defending champion Kentucky is No. 3, each picking up five No. 1 votes.

USF 8th in Big East: The Bulls were picked to finish eighth out of 15 teams in the preseason Big East coaches poll released at its media days in New York. The Bulls' standing is easily the highest expectation for the program in its eight seasons in the conference.

"It's a step in the right direction," coach Stan Heath said. "It does seem like we're catching some eyes when it comes to polls."

Bulls point guard Anthony Collins was named to the preseason all-conference second team, one of just three sophomores to earn a spot on the first two teams.

Louisville, which has three starters back from last season's Final Four squad, was the top choice to win the conference.

ACC: For the first time since 1974-75, North Carolina State was picked by media as the league favorite. With four starters back from a team that reached the Sweet 16 last season, the Wolfpack got 26 of 53 first-place votes. It marks only the second time in 16 seasons that neither Duke nor North Carolina were picked to win the league. Florida State was picked fourth.

Kentucky: Freshman forward Nerlens Noel was cleared by the NCAA to play this season after an investigation into the funding of unofficial visits to the school.

Football

Notre Dame QB a Go: Irish quarterback Everett Golson was cleared by doctors to practice after he suffered a concussion against Stanford. The sophomore successfully completed concussion testing and is expected to start against Brigham Young.

Arkansas: Former players Marquel Wade and Andrew Peterson were sentenced to six months in jail and five years' probation for their roles in on-campus burglaries. They each pleaded guilty to one count of residential burglary. They were arrested, along with former teammate Maudrecus Humphrey, who is awaiting sentencing.

Idaho State: Coach Mike Kramer is being investigated by Pocatello police and the university for allegedly shoving receiver Derek Graves to the ground two weeks ago in a practice incident caught on video.

Times staff writer Greg Auman contributed to this report.

College basketball: Indiana Hoosiers No. 1 in preseason poll; Florida Gators 10th, Florida State Seminoles 24th 10/17/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 10:58pm]

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