Kentucky cracked the top five of the AP Top 25 on Monday for the first time since November 2019 on Monday after its 80-62 win at Kansas on Saturday in the Big 12/SEC Challenge. The Wildcats (17-4, 6-2 SEC) rose seven spots and came in at No. 5 in this week's poll after their convincing victory over the Jayhawks, who fell five spots to No. 10.
It marks the first time since early December that Kentucky has been in the top 10, as the Wildcats have proven that, when fully healthy, they can be lethal. While UK faces an uphill battle in the SEC title race behind No. 1 Auburn, the win over Kansas boosts its national credibility.
Other movement within this week's top-10 included UCLA rising four spots to No. 3 after a 3-0 week highlighted by an authoritative 75-59 win over Arizona. The Bruins swapped spots with the Wildcats, who dropped from No. 3 to No. 7. The two are set for a rematch Thursday at Arizona as the Wildcats look to bounce back from a lackluster week that included the blowout loss against the Bruins and a lackluster offensive showing in a win over Arizona State.
Auburn and Gonzaga stayed at No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in this week's poll, while Purdue rose from No. 6 to No. 4. Baylor dropped from No. 4 to No. 8 following its loss at Alabama on Saturday. The Crimson Tide finished just short of the 25th spot, as they received 97 votes.
The only newcomer to the poll this week was Texas, which re-entered at No. 23 following its wins over TCU and Tennessee. The Longhorns had only been absent from the poll for a week. They took the place of Davidson, which dropped from the No. 25 spot following a 1-1 week. Illinois was among the biggest risers, as it climbed six spots to No. 18 following wins over Michigan State and Northwestern. The win over the Spartans came with star big man Kofi Cockburn out of the lineup due to injury.
AP Top 25
Others receiving votes: Alabama 97, Murray St. 42, Boise St. 32, Saint Mary's (Cal) 32, Miami 29, Indiana 22, Davidson 10, Arkansas 7, Iowa 6, Iona 6, Notre Dame 4, Loyola Chicago 4, TCU 4, Colorado St. 3, Toledo 1.