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Where UK stands in new top 25 rankings, NET & power rankings

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A look at what the experts are saying about the Cats heading into a critical week in Vegas.

Hagans, Richards, Brooks Drew Brown - Sea of Blue

The Kentucky Wildcats are set to face Utah and Ohio State in Las Vegas over the next five days.

Ahead of those games, the latest college basketball rankings have been released, which include Kentucky checking in at No. 6 in the latest AP Top 25 Poll.

Kansas is the new No. 1 after Louisville (3) fell to Texas Tech last week. Ohio State (6) had a chance to climb to the top spot, but they were upset by Minnesota on Sunday, while previous-No. 5 Michigan (14) lost a pair of games to cap off a wild week in college hoops.

ESPN’s latest power rankings have Kentucky checking in at No. 9 and offered up this assessment:

After a slow start to the season, Ashton Hagans came into his own on the offensive end in three games last week for Kentucky. He averaged 19.0 points in the three games, even hitting three 3-pointers against Lamar on Sunday and also making all 22 of his free-throw attempts. Moreover, against Mount St. Mary’s and Lamar, Hagans totaled 16 assists to just six turnovers -- one of the areas he has needed to improve from a year ago. In the first four games this season, Hagans had 17 assists and 16 turnovers. Hagans is already one of the elite on-ball defenders in the country; if he can contribute consistently on the offensive end, his NBA stock will only go up -- as will Kentucky’s ceiling.

The first NET rankings have Kentucky checking in at No. 58. That’s mainly due to Kentucky playing a weak schedule thus far. However, that will change with this week’s matchup with No. 1 Ohio State, and the SEC already has five teams inside NET’s top 50, so it will be improving very soon.

The latest Coaches Top 25 Poll also has the Wildcats up to No. 6. Louisville (5) and Ohio State (4) remained in the top five.

KenPom now has Kentucky ranked No. 7 overall, No. 25 in offensive efficiency and No. 8 in defensive efficiency.

TeamRankings has Kentucky down at No. 12.

CBS Sports ranks Kentucky No. 7 overall.

ESPN’s latest bracketology has Kentucky as a 2 seed in the South Region with Kansas at the top spot.