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Wildcats climb in CBS Sports Power Rankings

Kentucky continues to rise during their three-game winning streak.

Drew Brown - Sea of Blue

The play of Kentucky Wildcats freshman point guard Ashton Hagans has been sensational to watch unfold. His team’s play over the last week has seized recognition as well.

In the latest CBS Sports College Basketball Power Rankings, the Wildcats climbed to the 13th spot. Last week, Kentucky ranked just 16th after blowing a halftime lead at Alabama and losing in a nail-biter.

Kentucky’s climb into the top-15 was expected after winning three-straight games while many top-25 teams have lost. The improvements are there, and the optimism surrounding this team is rising as we inch closer toward March.

Here are Matt Norlander’s comments on the Wildcats.

The Wildcats (13-3) have, as expected, ripped off three straight wins subsequent to their understandable 77-75 road loss against Alabama on Jan. 5. I didn’t panic with UK then and still kept them in the Power Rankings. But I must note that UK’s got an odd habit of starting slow and/or allowing other teams to shoot well from 3-point range early and often. It was down by 14 early vs. Vanderbilt last week. At least it won by 20 at Georgia on Tuesday.

The complete power rankings are as follows.

  1. Virginia
  2. Michigan
  3. Tennessee
  4. Gonzaga
  5. Michigan State
  6. Kansas
  7. Duke
  8. Texas Tech
  9. Buffalo
  10. Nevada
  11. Maryland
  12. Virginia Tech
  13. Kentucky
  14. Houston
  15. Marquette
  16. Iowa State
  17. Auburn
  18. Villanova
  19. Oklahoma

Kentucky doesn’t own a win over a team on this list, as North Carolina saw their name fall out of the rankings. They do, however, play two of these 19 team over the next nine days. Kansas improved this week from ninth to sixth, while Auburn was unranked last week and improved to 17th.

First, Kentucky will make the trip to Auburn on Saturday before hosting Kansas next weekend. It’s without doubt that this three game stretch of Auburn (away), Mississippi State (home) and Kansas (home) will truly define where Kentucky is at with their progress on the season.