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October 22, 2012

Media tabs Kentucky as preseason SEC favorite

The predicted order of finish in the 2012-13 SEC men's basketball season, according to a preseason vote of reporters who cover the league:
TeamVotes (First)
1. Kentucky328 (17)
2. Florida310 (5)
3. Missouri286 (1)
4. Tennessee269 (1)
5. Arkansas226
6. Alabama222
7. Ole Miss186
8. Georgia149
9. Texas A&M122
10. Vanderbilt120
11. LSU116
12. Auburn95
13. South Carolina54
14. Mississippi State37
All five starters are gone from last season's NCAA championship team, but Kentucky's not expected to take a significant step back.

That's the message from the media who cover the Southeastern Conference. On Monday, the league announced that reporters tabbed the Wildcats as the favorites to win the 2012-13 SEC title.

UK got 328 total points and 17 first-pace votes in the media poll. Florida got five first-place votes, Missouri and Tennessee one each.

The Wildcats went 16-0 in the SEC last season en route to a 38-2 record. But UK's top six players were selected in June's NBA Draft, five with eligibility remaining.

Kentucky freshman Nerlens Noel was named to the media's preseason All-SEC first team, joining Tennessee's Jarnell Stokes, Arkansas' BJ Young, Florida's Kenny Boynton and Missouri's Phil Pressey, who was named preseason SEC Player of the Year.

Pressey received six Player of the Year votes. Boynton got five. Noel, Stokes and Young got three apiece.

Another UK freshman, Alex Poythress, was voted to the All-SEC second team, joining Arkansas' Marshawn Powell, Florida's Patric Young, Georgia's Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Missouri's Michael Dixon and Tennessee's Jeronne Maymon.

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