Kentucky freshman forward and the nation’s top-ranked recruit, Nerlens Noel, has been cleared by the NCAA to play this season for the Wildcats. NCAA spokesman Cameron Schuh said Wednesday the 6-foot-10-inch, 228-pound Everett native was ‘‘cleared to practice and play’’ following a probe into the funding of unofficial visits to Kentucky . . . Texas sophomore guard Myck Kabongo will practice until NCAA investigators, who have raised questions about his relationship with professional agent Rich Paul, make a determination in his case. Longhorns coach Rick Barnes said Kabongo has not been declared ineligible . . . Louisville was the unanimous choice for first place in the Big East coaches’ preseason poll. Syracuse was second and Notre Dame was third. Louisville’s Peyton Siva was selected as preseason Player of the Year . . . The Big East and Madison Square Garden have agreed to a multiyear extension of their contract that will keep the conference’s postseason tournament in New York. No details of the extension were given.