The Jayhawks topped the preseason ESPN/USA Today Top 25 coaches' poll, which was released Thursday.
Michigan State, which finished as the runner-up in the 2009 NCAA tournament, starts the 2009-10 campaign second in the poll.
After a 23-12 finish last season, Texas makes a big jump to the No. 3 spot, while national champion North Carolina Tar Heels starts out in the fourth position.
Kentucky didn't finish last season in the rankings, but John Calipari's arrival coincides with a No. 5 ranking.
Villanova, Purdue, Duke, West Virginia and Butler round out the top 10.