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Hoops: Tennessee ranked 18th in first AP Poll

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Syndication: The Knoxville News-Sentinel Caitie McMekin/News Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK

Lost in the madness of the college football season? The start of college basketball. We’re actually just a couple of weeks away from seeing Tennessee play for the first time — a scrimmage with Lenior-Rhyne on October 30th.

Today, in the first version of the AP Top 25, Tennessee debuted at No. 18. Gonzaga took the top spot, while UCLA, Kansas, Villanova and Texas finished out the rest of the top five spots.

Kentucky led the way for the SEC at No. 10. Alabama debuted at No. 14, while Arkansas was slotted in at No. 16. Auburn also made an appearance at No. 22.

Tennessee will face (4) Villanova, (5) Texas, (12) Memphis in non-conference matchups. They’ll also face either (19) North Carolina or (7) Purdue in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off.

Tennessee has completely remade its roster from last season after losing Keon Johnson, Jaden Springer and Yves Pons to the NBA. The Volunteers added two five-star prospects in point guard Kennedy Chandler and power forward Brandon Huntley-Hatfield. They also picked up sharpshooting guard Justin Powell, who transfers in from Auburn. John Fulkerson, Santiago Vescovi, Josiah-Jordan James and Victor Bailey Jr. will all return to the program, looking to rebound after a largely disappointing 2020-21 season.

Rick Barnes is set to begin his 7th season on Rocky Top. The first game that counts is set for November 9th against UT-Martin.