The Kentucky Wildcats are back to No. 1 status.
For the first time since early in the 2016-17 season, Kentucky has climbed to the top spot in the AP Poll.
It was just a one-spot rise, as the Wildcats opened the season ranked No. 2 in both major top 25 polls. However, climbing the hill to the top spot proved very challenging since Kentucky had to beat preseason No. 1 Michigan State to do so.
But while the veteran Spartans were favored to win Tuesday’s Championship Classic, it was the young Wildcats — led by 26 points from freshman Tyrese Maxey — who came away victorious.
In theory, the Wildcats should remain No. 1 for several weeks if they hold serve at home vs. Evansville, Utah Valley, Mount St. Mary’s, Lamar, UAB and Fairleigh Dickinson.
Kentucky won’t face a Power 5 opponent until Georgia Tech on Dec. 14, so it would take several poor performances to fall out of the top spot.
Right behind the Wildcats in the AP Poll are Duke, Michigan State, Louisville and Kansas.
AP Top 25 Poll
Andy Katz’s Power 36 has the Wildcats on top with Duke at No. 2 Katz also tabbed Kentucky as his Team of the Week.
Over at CBS Sports, Kentucky is checking in at No. 1 with Duke close behind.
Yahoo Sports also has Kentucky on top with Louisville as the No. 2 team.
KenPom still has the Wildcats at No. 2 and Michigan State at No. 1. The Wildcats’ net six games are all against teams outside of KenPom’s top 100 teams.
We’ll upload the latest Coaches Poll when it comes out later today.