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.
The highest 'Nova has ever been ranked in the preseason was 1995, when it started at No. 3. That team would lose in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.