UK Men's Basketball

Kentucky jumps ahead of Duke and Tennessee in latest AP Top 25

How is Kentucky basketball playing heading into the postseason?

Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari talks to the media after his team’s 66-57 win over Florida on Saturday, March 9, 2019. at Rupp Arena in Lexington. UK finished the regular season 26-5 overall and 15-3 in the SEC.
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Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari talks to the media after his team’s 66-57 win over Florida on Saturday, March 9, 2019. at Rupp Arena in Lexington. UK finished the regular season 26-5 overall and 15-3 in the SEC.

Kentucky has climbed back up to No. 4 in the nation, according to the latest Associated Press Top 25 poll released Monday and back into the conversation of who will earn a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

The Cats climbed two spots after losses ahead them in last week’s poll by both Tennessee, now No. 8, and Duke, now, No. 5.

ESPN’s Joe Lunardi recently moved Kentucky back to his No. 1 line as the top seed in the South Regional in his Bracketology forecast, the same position CBSSports.com’s Jerry Palm has them. Kentucky likely will need to perform well at this week’s Southeastern Conference Tournament to maintain those expectations.

Gonzaga, Virginia and North Carolina remained 1-2-3 atop an otherwise reshuffled top 10.

The Zags sit on top for a third straight week, earning 41 of 64 first-place votes on Monday. And the Cavaliers also stayed put behind Gonzaga for a third straight week, claiming the remaining 23 first-place votes.

Kentucky is followed by Duke, Michigan State, Texas Tech, Tennessee, LSU and Michigan to round out the top 10.

Auburn is the only addition at No. 22, returning for the first time since mid-January and after peaking at No. 7 in December.

Preseason No. 1 Kansas fell to No. 17 for its lowest ranking since the 2013-14 season, while UCF slid out from its No. 25 ranking in the last poll.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

The AP Top 25

The top 25 teams in The Associated Press’ college basketball poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through March 10, 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

Prv

1. Gonzaga (41)

29-2

1572

1

2. Virginia (23)

28-2

1559

2

3. North Carolina

26-5

1474

3

4. Kentucky

26-5

1373

6

5. Duke

26-5

1298

4

6. Michigan St.

25-6

1226

9

7. Texas Tech

26-5

1211

8

8. Tennessee

27-4

1200

5

9. LSU

26-5

1089

10

10. Michigan

26-5

1041

7

11. Houston

29-2

963

12

12. Florida St.

25-6

856

14

13. Purdue

23-8

831

11

14. Nevada

28-3

684

17

15. Kansas St.

24-7

680

18

16. Virginia Tech

23-7

625

15

17. Kansas

23-8

602

13

18. Buffalo

28-3

539

19

19. Wisconsin

22-9

466

21

20. Wofford

28-4

387

22

21. Maryland

22-9

319

24

22. Auburn

22-9

268

23. Marquette

23-8

109

16

24. Cincinnati

25-6

108

20

25. Villanova

22-9

80

23

Others receiving votes: UCF 62, VCU 53, Mississippi St. 37, Utah St. 34, New Mexico St. 16, Louisville 11, Murray St. 11, Iowa St. 8, Temple 4, Clemson 3, Liberty 1.

Jared Peck, the Herald-Leader’s Digital Sports Writer, covers high school athletics and has been with the company as a writer and editor for more than 19 years.
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