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Duke Men’s Basketball ranked 6th in nation in ESPN/USA Today Poll

DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke men’s basketball team is ranked sixth in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ Preseason Poll as announced on Thursday. The Blue Devils earned 635 points in the poll to start the season just outside of the top five. Duke has now been ranked in 75 consecutive ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ Polls, dating back to the final poll of the 2006-07 season. North Carolina claimed 30 of 31 first-place votes to earn the top spot in the preseason poll. Kentucky received the other first place vote and starts the year ranked second with Ohio State, Connecticut and Syracuse rounding out the top five. Duke is followed in the poll by Vanderbilt, Louisville, Memphis and Florida. Pittsburgh is ranked 11th overall with Baylor, Kansas, Wisconsin, Xavier, Arizona, Alabama, Michigan, Texas A&M and UCLA sitting inside the top 20. Marquette, Cincinnati, Gonzaga, California and Missouri round out the preseason top 25. The Blue Devils’ 2011-12 schedule features three games against teams ranked in the top 5 of the preseason poll. Duke faces No. 3 Ohio State in Columbus on Nov. 29 and also has matchups against No. 1 North Carolina on Feb. 8 in Chapel Hill and March 3 at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Duke’s schedule also includes potential matchups against No. 13 Kansas, No. 9 Memphis, No. 18 Michigan and No. 20 UCLA during the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational (Nov. 21-23). The Blue Devils also play Florida State, which finished two points outside the top 25, twice this season.