UK Men's Basketball

Another loss, another slip for Kentucky in eyes of AP Top 25 voters

Kentucky forwards Kevin Knox (5) and PJ Washington (25) walked back to the bench during their game against Florida Saturday in Exactech Arena in Gainesville. Florida beat Kentucky 80-67. The loss dropped Kentucky out of the AP Top 25 Poll.
Kentucky forwards Kevin Knox (5) and PJ Washington (25) walked back to the bench during their game against Florida Saturday in Exactech Arena in Gainesville. Florida beat Kentucky 80-67. The loss dropped Kentucky out of the AP Top 25 Poll. aslitz@herald-leader.com

Kentucky dropped out of The Associated Press Top 25 poll for a fourth week this season following its loss Saturday at Florida.

Ranked No. 23 last week and as high as No. 5 this season, UK slipped into the “others receiving votes” bin, coming in with 66 points for an equivalent No. 27 ranking. Kentucky is listed as No. 17 in the latest Daily RPI on ESPN.com. The RPI is among the tools used by the NCAA Selection Committee when choosing the tournament field.

The Cats (21-10, 10-8) go into this week’s Southeastern Conference Tournament as the No. 4 seed behind Tennessee, Auburn and the Gators and will play at about 3:25 p.m. EST on Friday against the winner of the Missouri vs. Georgia/Vanderbilt matchup. The winner of Friday’s game could potentially face No. 16 Auburn, the SEC No. 1 seed in Saturday’s semifinals. UK lost at Auburn, 76-66, on Feb. 14.

The loss to the Gators on Saturday dropped Kentucky to a No. 6 seed in Joe Lunardi’s latest Bracketology forecast of the NCAA Tournament on ESPN.com. Lunardi forecasts that UK will have to play in the West Region of the Tournament with No. 4 Michigan State, No. 9 Kansas, No. 12 North Carolina and No. 15 Arizona in its bracket among other contenders.

Kentucky guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander talks to media after 80-67 loss at Florida.

Virginia is now the unanimous No. 1 team, according to voters, while Michigan made a big jump into the top 10 after winning the Big Ten Tournament title.

The Cavaliers earned all 65 first-place votes in Monday’s poll after finishing four games ahead of the field in the Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season race. This was Virginia’s fourth straight week at No. 1, with the Cavaliers acquiring more first-place votes each time until claiming them all this week.

Villanova hopped over Xavier to reach No. 2. The Wildcats beat the Musketeers twice this season, though Xavier won the Big East regular-season race outright.

Michigan State, Duke, Gonzaga and Michigan followed. Michigan jumped eight spots after beating Michigan State and Purdue to win a second straight Big Ten Tournament title.

Jared Peck: 859-231-1333, @JPSaysHere

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

The AP Top 25

The top 25 teams in The Associated Press’ men’s college basketball poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through Mar. 4, 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. Virginia (65)

28-2

1,625

1

2. Villanova

27-4

1,516

4

3. Xavier

27-4

1,510

3

4. Michigan St.

29-4

1,346

2

5. Duke

25-6

1,340

5

6. Gonzaga

28-4

1,254

7

7. Michigan

28-7

1,231

15

8. Cincinnati

27-4

1,213

10

9. Kansas

24-7

1,129

6

10. Purdue

28-6

1,096

8

11. Wichita St.

24-6

861

11

12. North Carolina

22-9

852

9

13. Tennessee

23-7

825

16

14. Texas Tech

23-8

784

12

15. Arizona

24-7

739

19

16. Auburn

25-6

692

14

17. Ohio St.

24-8

603

13

18. West Virginia

22-9

486

20

19. Clemson

22-8

422

18

20. Saint Mary’s (Calif.)

28-4

385

22

21. Houston

24-6

247

25

22. Nevada

26-6

218

21

23. Florida

20-11

192

-

24. Miami

22-8

191

-

25. Rhode Island

23-6

86

17

Others receiving votes: St. Bonaventure 72, Kentucky 66, TCU 45, Loyola of Chicago 43, Virginia Tech 15, Seton Hall 10, Middle Tennessee 9, Creighton 8, Arkansas 4, Nebraska 2, Kansas St. 2, N.C. State 2, Florida St. 1, Buffalo 1, New Mexico St. 1, Texas A&M 1.

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