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No. 1 Michigan State to be tested early

(AP Photo/David Banks)

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) Michigan State's basketball team is ranked No. 1 in the preseason for the first time and is looking forward to validating the votes.

"Now you have to go out and prove why you're ranked No. 1," All-America guard Cassius Winston said.

The Spartans will find out soon if they're that good because Hall of Fame coach Tom Izzo has put together one of his toughest schedules - even for him. Izzo regularly tests his teams during the nonconference schedule, hoping it prepares them to win Big Ten championships and contend for national titles.

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Defending champ UVa looks to fill holes

Tony Bennett and Virginia proved last season that a defense-first approach short on offensive style points can still be a winning formula.

The 11th-ranked defending national champions have work to do, however, to build the Cavaliers into a team capable of repeating.

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No, 4 Duke expects balanced talent

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) Mike Krzyzewski describes his latest Duke team as old-fashioned - with an emphasis on old.

Sure, the Blue Devils will be heavy on freshmen again after replacing one batch of one-and-done players with another. But surrounding them will be a deep, strong group of veterans with a renewed dedication to defense - a staple of Krzyzewski's past Duke teams.

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High expectations for No. 5 Louisville

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Louisville coach Chris Mack said he isn't buying the hype. He's making sure the No. 5 Cardinals don't, either.

He wants his players to know it is up to them to do something buzzworthy.

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Deep No. 7 Maryland has high hopes

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) Talented and deep, mature and hungry, No. 7 Maryland brings the potential for greatness into coach Mark Turgeon's ninth year at the school.

The leading scorer from last season, senior guard Anthony Cowan Jr., will be accompanied by forward Jalen Smith, who has added some bulk to his lean frame following a strong freshman season. Starters Eric Ayala and Darryl Morsell are also back, to be joined by a skilled freshman class that includes 6-foot-10 twins Makhi and Makhel Mitchell.

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Big 12 wide open after Kansas' run ends

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Kansas State coach Bruce Weber shrugged off the early predications that the Wildcats, who just a few months ago were still reveling in the glow a shared Big 12 championship, would be scratching and clawing just to stay out of the cellar.

"Obviously it's not great for your fans and selling tickets," Weber said, "but at the same time, for us, it doesn't matter. Every year here's somebody that's picked eighth or ninth, seventh that ends up being in the top of the league - that ends up like Texas Tech, playing for a national title."

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No. 18 Ohio State hopes to rebound

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) After a disappointing rollercoaster of a season, Ohio State's gifted big man, Kaleb Wesson, explored the possibility of leaving school early for the NBA.

Wesson decided to stay for at least another year and see how far the Buckeyes can go with him and a nationally heralded group of freshmen this time around. And the junior from suburban Columbus got leaner and meaner, taking more than 30 pounds off his 6-foot-9 frame and building muscle. He's down to 255 and says he has more flexibility and stamina than ever.

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Winston, Howard top AP All-America team

Cassius Winston had a long list of accomplishments at Michigan State. He led the Spartans to Big Ten regular-season and tournament titles and into the Final Four. He was the Big Ten player of the year, an Associated Press All-American, one of the nation's best players.

No one would have blamed the gritty guard for bolting to the NBA. His place in Michigan State history was already secured.

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UConn G Bouknight faces several charges

STORRS, Conn. (AP) The UConn basketball player facing charges after fleeing from a car accident smelled of alcohol at the time of the crash, according to an arrest warrant affidavit released Wednesday.

Freshman guard James Bouknight was charged this week with evading responsibility, interfering with a police officer, traveling too fast for conditions and operation of a motor vehicle without a license after police say he crashed a car into a street sign near campus then ran from the scene at about 1:30 a.m. Sept. 27.

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Second man charged in death of Emmett

DALLAS (AP) Dallas police have arrested a second suspect in the investigation of last month's fatal shooting of ex-NBA and Texas Tech star Andre Emmett.

Dallas County jail records show 29-year-old Michael Lucky was being held Tuesday on a capital murder charge. Online records didn't immediately list an attorney representing Lucky, who surrendered Monday.

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