11/11 12:25 CST Kentucky new No. 1 in AP Top 25 after beating Michigan State
Kentucky new No. 1 in AP Top 25 after beating Michigan State
By AARON BEARD
AP Basketball Writer
Kentucky is back in a familiar position under John Calipari: No. 1 in The
Associated Press men's college basketball poll.
The Wildcats rose one spot after winning a 1-vs-2 matchup with Michigan State
to open the season in the Champions Classic, followed by an easy win against
Eastern Kentucky. They earned 64 of 65 first-place votes in Monday's poll to
finish ahead of No. 2 Duke.
It marks the first time the Wildcats (2-0) have reached No. 1 since spending
two weeks there early in the 2016-17 season.
Yet it's the seventh of Calipari's 11 seasons that the Wildcats have spent at
least one week atop the AP Top 25. That includes 10 weeks during the 2011-12
season on the way to the national championship and a start-to-finish stay in
2014-15 as the Wildcats carried an unbeaten record to the Final Four, where
they lost to Wisconsin.
"We've grown very close over this time we've spent together, and I feel like
the closer we are, the better we are going into the postseason, throughout the
year," freshman forward Keion Brooks Jr. said after Friday's victory over the
THE TOP TIER
The same five teams were at the top of the poll, just in reshuffled order.
Duke climbed two spots to No. 2 after winning a top-4 matchup against Kansas at
the Classic. The Blue Devils were ranked second on 48 ballots, third on 13 more
and no lower than fifth on any ballot.
The Spartans were No. 1 in the AP preseason poll for the first time in program
history entering the Kentucky game but fell to third, followed by Louisville
--- which claimed the remaining first-place vote --- and Kansas.
North Carolina, Maryland, Gonzaga, reigning national champion Virginia and
Villanova rounded out the top 10.
It was a week of modest climbs for poll risers, with the Tar Heels (2-0) moving
up three spots for the biggest gain.
Twelve teams moved up in the poll, with Duke, Virginia, No. 11 Texas Tech, No.
16 Ohio State, No. 18 St. Mary's, No. 19 Arizona and No. 22 Auburn all moving
up two spots.
The list of risers included No. 13 Memphis, which moved up one spot after two
wins despite concerns --- and even a court order --- involving the eligibility
of star freshman James Wiseman.
Florida and Baylor took big tumbles after opening-week losses.
The Gators had the biggest fall, sliding nine spots to No. 15 after Sunday's
loss to Florida State. The Bears fell eight spots to No. 24 after losing to
now-No. 20 Washington in Friday's Armed Forces Classic in Anchorage, Alaska.
Six ranked teams fell in the poll, though two --- No. 21 Xavier (two spots) and
No. 23 LSU (one spot) fell despite emerging from the week unscathed.
Maryland, Gonzaga, Villanova, No. 12 Seton Hall and No. 17 Utah State stayed in
the same spot from last week.
Washington and No. 25 Colorado were the new additions to the poll, with the
Buffaloes earning the Pac-12 program's first appearance since being ranked for
six weeks during the 2013-14 season.
FAREWELL FOR NOW
Purdue (No. 23) and VCU (No. 25) fell out of the poll, though the Rams won both
their games last week and trailed Colorado by just 14 points in the voting.
The Atlantic Coast, Big Ten, Pac-12 and Southeastern conferences all had four
teams in the poll, with the ACC's all inside the top 10.
The Big 12 had three ranked teams, followed by two for the Big East, two for
the West Coast and one each for the American Athletic and Mountain West
AP Sports Writer Gary B. Graves in Lexington, Kentucky, contributed to this
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