Coming off their first trip to the NCAA Tournament, the Northwestern Wildcats come in at No. 20 in the preseason version of the USA Today Coaches Poll.
Here is the entire poll, and pictured below are the teams surrounding the Wildcats:
Northwestern is one of four Big Ten teams in the Top 25. Michigan State comes in at No. 2, Minnesota at No. 15 and Purdue at No. 21. Wisconsin, Maryland and Michigan received voted but did not place in the Top 25. Coincidentally, Gonzaga, which knocked Northwestern out of the tournament in the second round last year, comes in one spot ahead of the Wildcats.
Northwestern returns four of its five starters and loses just two players — Sanjay Lumpkin and Nathan Taphorn — from its roster last year while also gaining the services of true freshman Anthony Gaines, redshirt freshman Rapolas Ivanauskas and redshirt sophomore Aaron Falzon.
First-team All-Big Ten preseason picks Scottie Lindsey and Bryant McIntosh, both seniors, and redshirt junior Vic Law Jr. help form a strong veteran core. The Wildcats open their season on Nov. 10 at Allstate Arena against Loyola (Md.).