Villanova, which a week ago was picked to finish first in the Big East, is ranked fifth in the preseason Associated Press (media) Top 25.
The Wildcats are No. 6 in the ESPN/USA Today (coaches) vote.
Kansas, which plays at Temple on Jan. 2, was first in both polls.
The last time the Wildcats were ranked this high to begin a season was 2005, when they were also fifth. Five months later they lost in the Final Eight to eventual national champion Florida.