Spartans Ranked 5th in AP Preseason Poll
November 5, 1998
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State men's basketball team, picked as the preseason favorite to capture the 1998-99 Big Ten title by the leagues coaches and media, are ranked No. 5 in the nation in the Associated Press preseason college basketball poll. The AP preseason rankings were released Thursday evening.
The Spartans of Head Coach Tom Izzo return 12 letterwinners from the 1997-98 squad that finished with an overall slate of 22-8 and a No. 16 ranking by the Associated Press. MSU was the only Big Ten team to land a spot among the top 10 teams in the preseason poll. Purdue (#16) and Indiana (#22) were other conference representatives to land a spot among the top 25 squads.
Three of the Spartans non-conference foes find themselves among the APs top 10 teams. Duke, MSU's Dec. 2 opposition in the Great Eight in Chicago, holds down the No. 1 spot with 1,734 points, while Connecticut (Dec. 5 at Storrs) is right behind the Blue Devils at No. 2 with 1,734 points. Temple, who will host Michigan State on Nov. 20, stands No. 7 in the poll.
The last time a Spartan team landed a top 10 preseason ranking came in 1990-91 when MSU was ranked No. 4.
"It's an honor to be ranked among the top teams in the nation," said Izzo. "We have a lot of work to do yet in meeting the challenges and expectations of the upcoming season."
Michigan State will open its regular season on Friday, November 13, at home against Northeast Louisiana starting at 8:30 p.m. (EST).
1998-99 AP's TOP 25 MEN'S BASKETBALL PRESEASON POLL
Rk. Team 1. Duke 2. Connecticut 3. Stanford 4. Kentucky 5. Michigan State 6. Maryland 7. Temple 8. Kansas 9. Tennessee 10. Utah 11. North Carolina 12. UCLA 13. Oklahoma State 14. Washington 15. Cincinnati 16. Purdue 17. Xavier 18. Arizona 19. Arkansas 20. New Mexico 21. Syracuse 22. Indiana 23. Rhode Island 24. Massachusetts 25. Texas Christian
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