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Blue Blood Kentucky Wildcats enter top 10 in new AP poll

After destroying North Carolina in the CBS Sports Classic, Kentucky moves up in the latest round of college basketball rankings.

Last week, Kentucky dismantled North Carolina, behind up-and-coming guard Sahvir Wheeler. In the 98-69 win over the Tar Heels, Wheeler scored 26 points, dished out eight assists and had four steals. The playmaking guard has settled into the Kentucky system and looks to be running the offense smoothly and efficiently.

“… The biggest thing I did prior to the game individually and then in front of the team was [to say] Sahvir (Wheeler), lead us,” Calipari said. “It’s not based on how you’re playing, Sahvir. Lead us. If you’re playing great, lead us and get everybody involved. If you’re not making shots or you’re a little confused, lead us. Lead. That’s what he did today.”

With an 8-2 record and first in SEC play, the Wildcats seem to have a positive upside. Before the 2021 year ends, the only true competition is an upcoming rivalry game against Louisville; however, it was postponed due to a COVID-19 outbreak. 

Overall, there were no real surprises for this week’s AP rankings. No. 1 Baylor advances to 10–0 on the season after its comeback win at Oregon. Duke stays at two and Purdue holds the No. 3 spot after a dominant 29 points win over Butler.

Gonzaga (No. 4) and UCLA (No. 5) round out the top five. The Bruins are one of several teams currently on a COVID-19 pause.

Big Rises/Falls

Xavier made the biggest jump this week, climbing four spots to No. 18 after beating Marquette.

​​Villanova fell from No. 9 to No. 23 and are now 7–4 on the season after bad losses to Baylor and Creighton.

Coming In/Out

Providence entered the poll at No. 22 after its win over UConn.

Wisconsin moved back into the poll to No. 24 with a 9-2 record.

UCONN Huskies drop out of the rankings.

Arkansas fell out of the rankings after suffering back-to-back losses.

AP Top 25:

  1. Baylor
  2. Duke
  3. Purdue
  4. Gonzaga
  5. UCLA
  6. Arizona
  7. Kansas
  8. USC
  9. Iowa State
  10. Alabama
  11. Michigan State
  12. Auburn
  13. Houston
  14. Ohio State
  15. Seton Hall
  16. Texas
  17. LSU
  18. Xavier
  19. Tennessee
  20. Kentucky
  21. Colorado State
  22. Providence
  23. Villanova
  24. Wisconsin
  25. Texas Tech

Others receiving votes: Oklahoma 65, West Virginia 57, Connecticut 55, Illinois 49, Loyola Chicago 42, Arkansas 9, Michigan 9, BYU 8, North Carolina 7, San Francisco 6, Wake Forest 5, Oklahoma State 4, Virginia Tech 4, Iowa 3, Minnesota 3, Creighton 2, Memphis 1

 

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