UK Men's Basketball

Kentucky’s back in AP’s top 10 for first time since early December

Charles Barkley pays John Calipari a postgame visit

Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari kids around with Charles Barkley after UK’s 82-80 win at Auburn on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019, at Auburn Arena. Calipari gave credit to Tyler Herro’s aggressiveness in the win.
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Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari kids around with Charles Barkley after UK’s 82-80 win at Auburn on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019, at Auburn Arena. Calipari gave credit to Tyler Herro’s aggressiveness in the win.

Kentucky ended its six-week absence from the Associated Press’ top 10 after it moved up four spots to eighth in Monday’s poll.

The Cats (14-3, 4-1 Southeastern Conference) hadn’t been ranked in the AP’s top 10 since they were 7-1 and ranked ninth on Dec. 3. It is the highest UK has been ranked since starting out at No. 2 in the preseason poll.

Kentucky is coming off an 82-80 win at then-No. 14 Auburn on Saturday. This week it hosts No. 22 Mississippi State and No. 9 Kansas.

UK has rebounded in the AP poll in a big way the past two weeks. After being slotted 18th on Jan. 7, the Cats moved up six spots to 12th last week.

Tennessee (16-1, 5-0 SEC) took over the No. 1 spot after three of the top five teams lost last week.

The Vols received 48 of 64 first-place votes, well ahead of No. 2 Duke with 11. No. 3 Virginia received three first-place votes and No. 6 Michigan State had two. Gonzaga and Michigan rounded out the top five.

Tennessee rolled over Arkansas and edged Alabama in its two games last week, while Duke, Michigan and Virginia all lost.

The Blue Devils lost to Syracuse in overtime last Monday, but bounced back to knock Virginia from the unbeaten ranks with a 72-70 victory on Saturday.

Michigan lost to Wisconsin on Saturday as well, leaving the 1976 Indiana Hoosiers as the last Division I team to finish a season undefeated.

Louisville moved into the AP Top 25 for the first time this season at No. 23 following wins over Boston College and Georgia Tech.

LSU defeated then-No. 19 Mississippi and South Carolina last week to return to the poll at No. 25.

Kentucky also picked up five spots to move up to ninth in the coaches’ poll. Those rankings have Tennessee at No. 1, Mississippi State at 22nd, Kansas at 10th and Louisville at 24th.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

The Associated Press top 25

The top 25 teams in The Associated Press’ college basketball poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through Jan. 20, total points based on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-place vote and last week’s ranking:

School

Record

Points

Previous

1. Tennessee (48)

16-1

1575

3

2. Duke (11)

15-2

1520

1

3. Virginia (3)

16-1

1451

4

4. Gonzaga

18-2

1374

5

5. Michigan

17-1

1363

2

6. Michigan St. (2)

16-2

1355

6

7. Nevada

18-1

1143

10

8. Kentucky

14-3

1087

12

9. Kansas

15-3

1060

7

10. Virginia Tech

15-2

1007

9

11. North Carolina

14-4

895

13

12. Marquette

16-3

861

15

13. Maryland

16-3

751

19

14. Texas Tech

15-3

743

8

14. Buffalo

17-1

743

16

16. Auburn

13-4

627

14

17. Houston

18-1

544

21

18. Villanova

14-4

450

22

19. Iowa

16-3

332

23

20. Mississippi

14-3

291

18

21. N.C. State

15-3

282

17

22. Mississippi St.

14-3

266

24

23. Louisville

13-5

230

_

24. Iowa St.

14-4

156

_

25. LSU

14-3

154

_

Others receiving votes: Florida St. 139, Purdue 111, Kansas St. 91, Nebraska 66, Wisconsin 64, Oklahoma 16, Syracuse 13, Washington 11, Murray St. 9, Cincinnati 6, Wofford 5, Saint Louis 3, Florida 2, S.F. 2, Hofstra 1, TCU 1.

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