3 SEC teams ranked in first coaches poll of 2017-18 season

It’s no surprise that Kentucky was highly ranked in the first men’s basketball coaches poll of the 2017-18 season. But the Wildcats were joined by a pair of their SEC counterparts.

Kentucky (No. 4), Florida (No. 7) and Alabama (No. 25) all made the top 25 of the first coaches poll released on Thursday.

The Wildcats are ranked behind Duke, Michigan State and Kansas. Last year, they went 32-6, and despite quite a bit of roster turnover — as typical for their program — they are expected to be one of the nation’s top teams again this season.

On Wednesday, Kentucky was picked by the media to again win the SEC. Last year, the Wildcats advanced to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament.

The Gators are coming off a 27-9 season. They finished second in the SEC last year before advancing to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament.

The Crimson Tide were just 19-15 last year, but they’re expected to improve this season under third-year coach Avery Johnson. They haven’t made the NCAA Tournament since the 2011-12 season.

A handful of other SEC schools were among others receiving votes: Texas A&M (76), Missouri (35), Georgia (3), Arkansas (2) and South Carolina (1).