Those young Kentucky Wildcats still have a firm grasp on the No. 1 spot in the AP Top 25 poll. And the team Kentucky lost to in April’s national championship game in North Texas no longer is ranked.
Kentucky (7-0), outscoring opponents by an NCAA-best 36.8 points a game, again got 62 of the 65 first-place votes in the new rankings Monday following another pair of lopsided victories.
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While the top of the poll remained steady, Nos. 21-25 are all teams that were unranked last week. Among the five falling out was defending national champion Connecticut (3-2), which lost its second consecutive game against a Big 12 team.
After falling to West Virginia in Puerto Rico, the Huskies returned home and lost 55-54 Sunday when Texas forward Jonathan Holmes made an open 3-pointer.
“Watching the ball go through the air, I didn’t even feel my ankle. It was like numb,” said UConn’s Ryan Boatright, who rolled his ankle while trying to get in position to contest the shot. “As soon as I saw the ball go through the basket … the pain just went crazy.”
Those same Longhorns (6-0) play at Kentucky on Friday night as part of the SEC/Big 12 Challenge. The Wildcats already have faced Big 12 favorite Kansas this season, beating that league’s perennial champion 72-40 in Indianapolis.
The Wildcats are coming off wins of 92-44 against Texas-Arlington and 58-38 against Providence last week.
Matching its wide margins on the court, Kentucky has a comfortable lead in the poll voting: a 111-point edge against Wisconsin.
Arizona and Duke remained third and fourth in the new poll.
With North Carolina losing its first game this season and dropping seven spots to 12th, Louisville, Texas, Virginia, Wichita State and Gonzaga all moved up one spot. Villanova rose by two to 10th.