UK Men's Basketball

Kentucky drops in AP poll after wins over Louisville and Georgia

Sunday showed how tough the SEC will be

Kentucky’s Hamidou Diallo after the hard-fought 66-61 win over Georgia in the SEC opener.
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Kentucky’s Hamidou Diallo after the hard-fought 66-61 win over Georgia in the SEC opener.

Kentucky head coach John Calipari noted his team’s drop in last week’s college basketball polls and suggested it might be time for his young team to grow up and do something about.

Calipari’s team responded to his message. It was lost on the media.

After a week in which Kentucky defeated archrival Louisville 90-61 and won its Southeastern Conference opener over Georgia, 66-61, the Wildcats (11-2) slid from No. 16 last week to No. 17 in this week’s Associated Press Top 25. A loss to UCLA in New Orleans the previous week dropped Kentucky from No. 9 to No. 16, prompting the message from Calipari.

The Associated Press poll also revealed a new No. 1 team to start the new year: Michigan State.

The Spartans received 43 of 65 first-place votes to earn the top spot for the first time since the 2015-16 season. Duke received 21 first-place votes while moving up two spots to No. 2, and No. 3 Villanova received the other.

Michigan State (14-1) had been No. 2 for three weeks and moved into the top spot after previous No. 1 Villanova lost to Butler on Saturday. No. 4 Arizona State and No. 16 TCU also lost Saturday, leaving college basketball with no unbeaten teams headed into the new year.

No. 5 Xavier, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Virginia, Wichita State and Kansas rounded out the top 10. Texas A&M fell six spots to No. 11 after losing to Florida.

Kentucky and Texas A&M are joined in this week’s AP poll by fellow SEC members Arkansas at No. 22 and Tennessee at No. 23.

The Associated Press Top 25

The top 25 teams in The Associated Press’ men’s college basketball poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through Dec. 31, total points based on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-place vote and last week’s ranking:

Record

Pts

Pvs

1. Michigan St. (43)

14-1

1,600

2

2. Duke (21)

13-1

1,556

4

3. Villanova (1)

13-1

1,444

1

4. Arizona St.

12-1

1,336

3

5. Xavier

14-1

1,325

6

6. West Virginia

12-1

1,304

7

7. Oklahoma

11-1

1,160

12

8. Virginia

12-1

1,048

9

9. Wichita St.

11-2

1,026

8

10. Kansas

11-2

963

11

11. Texas A&M

11-2

894

5

12. North Carolina

12-2

890

13

13. Purdue

13-2

883

14

14. Arizona

11-3

832

17

15. Miami

12-1

782

15

16. TCU

12-1

760

10

17. Kentucky

11-2

742

16

18. Texas Tech

12-1

483

22

19. Gonzaga

12-3

410

20

19. Cincinnati

12-2

410

21

21. Seton Hall

13-2

353

23

22. Arkansas

11-2

254

-

23. Tennessee

9-3

198

19

24. Florida St.

11-2

119

24

25. Clemson

12-1

104

-

Others receiving votes: Baylor 83, Creighton 54, Notre Dame 37, Butler 23, UCLA 14, Texas 10, St. Bonaventure 7, SMU 5, Auburn 4, Syracuse 4, Nevada 2, Rhode Island 2, Alabama 1, New Mexico St. 1, NC State 1, Mississippi St. 1.

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