SALT LAKE CITY (University of Utah) – The Associated Press released its 2014-15 preseason poll on Friday, and Utah will start the season in the top 25 for the first time since the 2000-01 season.
The Utes, who have not been ranked since the final poll of the 2008-09 season, won 21 games last year and return their top six scorers. Last week, the team was selected to finish second in the Pac-12 preseason media poll.
Utah’s 2014-15 schedule includes at least five games against teams ranked in the preseason AP Top 20: No. 2 Arizona (twice), No. 5 Kansas, No. 11 Wichita State and No. 16 San Diego State.
Utah will be playing three Top-20 teams in the non-conference portion of its schedule since 1996 (Arizona, Texas and Wake Forest). Heading into this season, Utah has only played one top-20 program since the 2009-10 season, and has not played multiple teams since 1999-2000. Utah played four top-20 teams in the non-conference during the 1956-57 and 1970-71 seasons.
In its history, Utah has been ranked for a total of 230 weeks with a record of 296-90 (.767). The Utes were ranked for 65 consecutive weeks (3/6/95 – 12/8/98) and reached the No. 2 slot to close the 1996-97 season.
The AP will announce its preseason All-America teams next week.
The University of Utah will be in action on Thursday as they take on Pacific College out of Oregon at 8:30 PM in an exhibition game. Pregame coverage on ESPN 700 will begin at 8:00 PM.