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NCAA Basketball Rankings: Baylor Opens AP Poll At 12

The Bears are the highest ranked Big 12 team; Texas slips into the receiving votes category.

The reputation of the Baylor men's basketball team hasn't been affected by their bizarre collapse last season: the Bears are ranked No. 12 in the AP preseason poll, the highest of any Big 12 member.

Three other Big 12 squads -- No. 13 Kansas, No. 20 Texas A&M and No. 25 Missouri -- made the poll, tying the conference with the SEC for second in terms of number of ranked teams. Only the Big East, with six, has more.

Texas, which has made 13 straight NCAA Tournament appearances under head coach Rick Barnes, fell into the receiving votes category, as the Longhorns have to replace three first-round draft picks (Tristan Thompson, Cory Joseph and Jordan Hamilton) from last year's quad.

In contrast, the decision of Baylor sophomore Perry Jones III to stay in school, despite being a lock for the lottery, has expectations as high as they've ever been in Waco. With Quincy Miller, a top-10 national recruit and another future lottery pick, joining him, the Bears have as much talent as anyone in the country.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.