If fans of the Iowa men's basketball team weren't already impatient enough for the start of the upcoming season, now comes this. Iowa has its highest preseason ranking by the Associated Press in 65 years. Oh, and they'll play the top-ranked team in the country in December.

The AP rankings came out late Monday morning, and they place Iowa at number five in the country. According to the University of Iowa Sports Information Department, it's the highest preseason ranking for Iowa since 1955-56. Iowa was ranked fourth before that season began. That team won the Big Ten Conference and ran off a string of 17 straight victories before losing to San Francisco in the national title game.

This marks the eighth time Iowa has been ranked in the Top 10 in the AP preseason poll. Here are the other seven:

  • 1954-55 (#4)
  • 1955-56 (#4)
  • 1981-82 (#9)
  • 1983-84 (#7)
  • 1988-89 (#7)
  • 1995-96 (#7)
  • 2001-02 (#9)

This is also the first time since 2005-2006 Iowa has been ranked in the AP preseason poll. That team went 25-9 and had one of the most frustrating ends to a season in program history... a one point NCAA Tournament loss to Northwestern State.

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The top-ranked team in the AP preseason poll is Gonzaga. Iowa will meet the Zags on December 19 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. They'll also play the 14th ranked team, North Carolina, on December 8 in Iowa City.

Six other Big Ten teams are ranked in the preseason poll. They are Wisconsin (#7), Illinois (#8), Michigan State (#13), Ohio State (#23), Rutgers (#24), and Michigan (#25).