Boys basketball rankings: Four of five defending champions head preseason polls

Eaglecrest boys basketball team

(Matt Mathewes/MVPSportsPics.com)

For the most part, the defending state champions come into the 2016-17 basketball season as the big dogs in the yard.

Pueblo West, Colorado Springs Christian, Sanford and Fleming all took the top spot in their respective CHSAANow.com preseason basketball polls.

The only defending champion to not hold the top spot is Overland, which did not make the top 10 in the Class 5A rankings.

The top spot in that class goes to Eaglecrest, which finished runner-up last season. Colbey Ross will be back for his senior season and will look to lead the Raptors to another state title.

Rock Canyon (No. 2), Denver East (No. 3), ThunderRidge (No. 4) all got first-place votes to start the season.

Pueblo West boys basketball team

(Matt Mathewes/MVPSportsPics.com)

In 4A, the two teams that ended last season all top will start this season in the same position. Pueblo West holds the top spot in 4A with Valor Christian nipping at the heels of the Cyclones at No. 2.

Pueblo West came away with a 70-51 win over the Eagles to take the state championship. David Simental returns for his senior season at Pueblo West and is looking to turn heads as he did in last year's state tournament.

He'd also like to win a second-straight title for the Cyclones.

Colorado Springs Christian takes the No. 1 spot in 3A after winning it's second-straight championship. The Lions lose big man Sam Howard, but guard Justin Engesser does return for his senior year.

After winning its third-straight title last year, Sanford comes into the season as the No. 1 team in 2A and is just one win away from history. 

If the Indians win their season opener, they will set the record for most consecutive wins in state history. They currently sit tied with Ridgway, who won 73 straight games from 1993-96.

After missing out on the 2015 state title by a point, Fleming rebounded to capture last year's 1A championship and will start the season at No. 1 as a result. 

The boys basketball regular season begins Nov. 30.

The rankings, voted upon by coaches and select media members, are the official polls of the Association. During the regular season, they are released each Monday.

Complete rankings are below.

CHSAANow.com Boys Basketball Polls

Voted upon by coaches and media members around the state. These rankings have no bearing on postseason seeding.

First-place votes are in parentheses.

Coaches and media members looking to vote should email rcasey@chsaa.org.

Go to: 5A | 4A | 3A | 2A | 1A

Class 5A
RK TEAM W-L PTS
1 Eaglecrest (12) 0-0 156
2 Rock Canyon (1) 0-0 97
3 Denver East (1) 0-0 89
4 ThunderRidge (1) 0-0 63
5 Regis Jesuit 0-0 60
6 George Washington 0-0 59
7 Cherokee Trail 0-0 50
8 Doherty 0-0 45
9 Grandview 0-0 44
10 Mountain Vista 0-0 43
Others receiving votes:
Chatfield 38, Lakewood 35, Fort Collins 20, Overland 16, Smoky Hill 9, Rangeview 8, Vista Ridge 7, Chaparral 6, Rampart 6, Dakota Ridge 5, Fossil Ridge 5, Adams City 4, Far Northeast 4, Legend 3, Aurora Central 2, Coronado 2, Arapahoe 1, Cherry Creek 1, Grand Junction Central 1, Highlands Ranch 1.

Class 4A
RK TEAM W-L PTS
1 Pueblo West (10) 0-0 153
2 Valor Christian (6) 0-0 147
3 Sand Creek 0-0 105
4 Golden 0-0 93
5 Holy Family 0-0 70
6 Sierra 0-0 54
7 Mead 0-0 51
8 D'Evelyn 0-0 43
9 Vista PEAK 0-0 42
10 Evergreen 0-0 40
Others receiving votes:
Pueblo South 33, Longmont 22, Lewis-Palmer 18, Northridge 10, Windsor 10, Silver Creek 8, Air Academy 7, Mesa Ridge 7, Mountain View 7, Denver West 4, Fort Morgan 4, Rifle 4, Durango 2, Widefield 1.

Class 3A
RK TEAM W-L PTS
1 Colorado Springs Christian (10) 0-0 144
2 Faith Christian 0-0 97
3 Lutheran (1) 0-0 86
4 Manual 0-0 82
5 Manitou Springs (1) 0-0 76
6 Alamosa (1) 0-0 75
7 Resurrection Christian (1) 0-0 72
8 DSST-Stapleton (2) 0-0 65
9 Sterling 0-0 38
10 Colorado Academy 0-0 24
Others receiving votes:
The Pinnacle 17, Eaton 14, Bayfield 13, Jefferson Academy 12, DSST-Green Valley Ranch 11, Strasburg 11, Grand Valley 7, Platte Valley 6, Frontier Academy 5, St. Mary's 5, Kent Denver 4, Basalt 3, Buena Vista 3, Middle Park 3, Coal Ridge 2, Ridge View Academy 2, Bennett 1, Peak to Peak 1, The Vanguard 1.

Class 2A
RK TEAM W-L PTS
1 Sanford (7) 0-0 94
2 Paonia 0-0 85
3 Holyoke (3) 0-0 76
4 Sedgwick County 0-0 67
5 Highland 0-0 46
6 Ellicott 0-0 40
7 Ignacio 0-0 35
8 Byers 0-0 28
9 Crowley County 0-0 26
10 Burlington 0-0 24
Others receiving votes:
Meeker 11, Vail Mountain 5, Hotchkiss 3, Soroco 3, Del Norte 2, Rocky Ford 2, Dayspring Christian 1, West Grand 1, Wiggins 1.

Class 1A
RK TEAM W-L PTS
1 Fleming (9) 0-0 90
2 Holly 0-0 81
3 Kit Carson 0-0 67
4 Shining Mountain 0-0 53
5 Cheyenne Wells 0-0 43
6 Sierra Grande 0-0 40
7 Ouray 0-0 38
8 Flagler 0-0 23
9 Rocky Mountain Lutheran 0-0 21
10 Wiley 0-0 16
Others receiving votes:
Cheraw 10, Eads 3, Primero 3, Longmont Christian 2, Nucla 2, Sangre de Cristo 2, Genoa-Hugo/Karval 1, Otis 1, Springfield 1.