UNC, UCLA, Memphis separated by eight votes in preseason poll

North Carolina leads four teams from the 2007 Elite Eight in the preseason ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll, released Friday morning.

The No. 1 Tar Heels edged UCLA and Memphis for the top spot, despite the fact that the Bruins had two more first-place votes (12) than the Tar Heels (10). North Carolina had 739 points in the poll, followed by No. 2 UCLA with 734 and No. 3 Memphis with 731 points and 8 first-place votes.

Fellow Elite Eight participants Kansas and Georgetown complete the top five.

Louisville, Tennessee, Michigan State, Indiana and Washington State rounded out the top 10.

Eleven of the 25 teams in the poll were not ranked at the end of the 2006-07 season, led by No. 11 Duke and No. 12 Marquette.

Neither Florida nor Ohio State, the teams that played for the national championship, made the Top 25. Oregon, which lost to the Gators in the Elite Eight, was ranked 13th.

Gonzaga and Texas A&M tied for No. 14 in the poll. Texas is ranked No. 16, followed by Arizona, USC, Arkansas and Pittsburgh.

Stanford, Kentucky, Southern Illinois, North Carolina State and Villanova complete the Top 25.

The ESPN/USA Today poll is voted on by a panel of 31 Division I head coaches.