UK Men's Basketball

Kentucky wins two games, drops two spots in AP rankings

Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari and Hamidou Diallo (3) discuss as UK defeats Vermont 73-69 at Rupp Arena on Sunday Nov. 12, 2017.
Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari and Hamidou Diallo (3) discuss as UK defeats Vermont 73-69 at Rupp Arena on Sunday Nov. 12, 2017.

After a bit of a shaky start to their season at home, the Kentucky men’s basketball team dropped two spots to No. 7 in the first regular season Associated Press Top 25 poll released Monday.

The Cats, ranked No. 5 in the preseason poll, overcame a nine-point halftime deficit to Utah Valley before battling to a 10-point win on Friday and then had difficulty with a veteran Vermont team on Sunday, holding off the Catamounts 73-69 on Sunday.

Duke, which thrashed Utah Valley by 30 points Saturday, held onto its No. 1 ranking from the preseason. The Blue Devils received 34 of 65 first-place votes from national media. Duke had 32 first-place votes in the preseason poll.

No. 2 Michigan State received 13 first-place votes, No. 3 Arizona got 16 and No. 4 Kansas had 2.

Supplanting the Cats were Villanova at No. 5 and Wichita State at No. 6. Florida, North Carolina and Southern California round out the top 10.

Kentucky gets a chance to prove itself Tuesday in a matchup with No. 4 Kansas in Chicago at 9:30 p.m. on ESPN.

Jared Peck: 859-231-1333, @JPSaysHere

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Men’s Associated Press Top 25

1. Duke

2. Michigan State

3. Arizona

4. Kansas

5. Villanova

6. Wichita State

7. Kentucky

8. Florida

9. North Carolina

10. USC

11. Miami (Fla.)

12.Cincinnati

13. Notre Dame

14. Minnesota

15. Xavier

16. Texas A&M

17. Gonzaga

18. Louisville

19. Purdue

20. Northwestern

21. St. Mary’s (Calif.)

22. Seton Hall

23. UCLA

24. West Virginia

25. Baylor

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