UNLV starts the season where it can't end it - as No. 1.

The Runnin' Rebels, who captured the national championship after being the preseason No. 1 last season, were banned from this year's NCAA tournament and won't be able to defend their title. But that didn't stop the poll voters from making them No. 1.All but 15 of the 65 voters on the national board of writers and broadcasters had UNLV first on their ballots in The Associated Press poll. UNLV had 1,601 points, well ahead of Arkansas (1,506) and Arizona (1,488) which each received five first-place votes.

Michigan State was fourth with one first-place vote and 1,302 points and was followed in the Top Ten by North Carolina, Duke, Alabama, Indiana, Georgetown and Ohio State.

UNLV has four starters back from the team which beat Duke 103-73 in the most lopsided championship game ever played.