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AP voter Jerry Carino shows Kentucky no love in preseason poll

That has to be a typo, right?

PJ Washington Sea of Blue

Jerry Carino, an AP voter from New Jersey, released his AP ballot on Tuesday.

Carino’s ballot was largely predictable, containing the same top 10 as other outlets and having a similar All-American list.

But there was one glaring, questionable decision: He ranks Kentucky at No. 8.

In nearly every reputable poll that has been released, Kentucky is listed either at No. 1 or No. 2 in the country.

And with every poll released after this week’s FBI trial testimony, I expect the cloud over Kansas to give Kentucky the boost to No. 1 more consistently.

Carino’s College Basketball Top 25 Poll

  1. Kansas Jayhawks
  2. Gonzaga Bulldogs
  3. Tennessee Volunteers
  4. Virginia Cavaliers
  5. Duke Blue Devils
  6. Nevada Wolf Pack
  7. North Carolina Tar Heels
  8. Kentucky Wildcats
  9. Michigan State Spartans
  10. Villanova Wildcats
  11. Kansas State Wildcats
  12. Auburn Tigers
  13. Mississippi State Bulldogs
  14. Florida State Seminoles
  15. Clemson Tigers
  16. Oregon Ducks
  17. West Virginia Mountaineers
  18. TCU Horned Frogs
  19. Michigan Wolverines
  20. Virginia Tech Hokies
  21. Syracuse Orange
  22. Loyola-Chicago Ramblers
  23. Nebraska Cornhuskers
  24. Marquette Golden Eagles
  25. UCF Knights

Yes, he only gets one vote. But this is a great example of a writer with a vote trying too hard to be “different” with his ballot.

It seems as though Carino is purposefully trying to make a point about Kentucky, though. In addition to listing them at No. 8, six slots below any other outlet, he intentionally leaves them out of his “analysis.”

Kansas is the deepest team and has enough experience to be a comfortable choice at No. 1. You could make a strong case for Gonzaga as well . . . Yes Duke possesses the most raw firepower but let’s see how the pieces fit . . . The Pac-12 has a ton of individual talent but the league stunk to high heaven last year and the coaching is suspect . . . It’s a transitional year for the Big East, for sure, but Villanova is being underrated by most of the national forecasters. When will they learn?

For anyone to have a drastically unique take on a top tier program, as Carino obviously does by not giving Kentucky a top 2 or even a top 5 ranking, it would make sense to explain your point within the article where you share your unique perspective. His only mention of Kentucky at all is when he lists Reid Travis as a third team All-American selection.

By dismissing the Wildcats altogether, it seems like there may be some other agenda at hand here.

It is also of note that calling Kansas the “comfortable choice” at No. 1 after they have been implicated under oath in a pay for play scheme this week is a bit rich. The situation at Kansas is anything but comfortable right now.

The official AP preseason poll has yet to be released. It comes out on October 22nd. At that point, we will find out how many other writers agree (or disagree) with Jerry Carino.