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Where UK stands in new top 25 polls, NET & bracketology

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This week will be the real test for Kentucky.

NCAA Basketball: South Carolina at Kentucky Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Another week of college basketball, two more wins for the Kentucky Wildcats, keeping them fully in the conversation for a 1-seed in the NCAA Tournament.

The victims this week were the South Carolina Gamecocks and the Mississippi State Bulldogs. And while the coming week will have a large impact on how everyone views Kentucky, winning ten in a row has to feel good for the Big Blue Nation.

Coming off of almost a unanimous No. 5 ranking last week, the only team above them that lost was Virginia. The Cavaliers caught the business from the Duke Blue Devils, and it may have put some doubt in the minds of those that thought Virginia was the top team in the country.

The new AP Poll has Kentucky standing pat at No. 5 in the country. Virginia dropped just one spot down to No. 4 following their loss to Duke, while Gonzaga moved up to No. 3.

This week, the Wildcats will face the LSU Tigers, who are now No. 19 in the AP Poll and 21 in the Coaches Poll, and the No. 1 Tennessee Volunteers.

Winning both of these would provide some insurance for a future letdown loss, but losing both would be a major setback.

Coaches 25 Poll

  1. Tennessee Volunteers
  2. Duke Blue Devils
  3. Gonzaga Bulldogs
  4. Virginia Cavaliers
  5. Kentucky Wildcats
  6. Nevada Wolf Pack
  7. Michigan Wolverines
  8. North Carolina Tar Heels
  9. Houston Cougars
  10. Marquette Golden Eagles
  11. Purdue Boilermakers
  12. Michigan State Spartans
  13. Villanova Wildcats
  14. Kansas Jayhawks
  15. Texas Tech Red Raiders
  16. Virginia Tech Hokies
  17. Iowa Hawkeyes
  18. Kansas State Wildcats
  19. Florida State Seminoles
  20. Louisville Cardinals
  21. LSU Tigers
  22. Iowa State Cyclones
  23. Wisconsin Badgers
  24. Buffalo Bulls
  25. Maryland Terrapins

AP Top 25 Poll

  1. Tennessee Volunteers
  2. Duke Blue Devils
  3. Gonzaga Bulldogs
  4. Virginia Cavaliers
  5. Kentucky Wildcats
  6. Michigan Wolverines
  7. Nevada Wolf Pack
  8. North Carolina Tar Heels
  9. Houston Cougars
  10. Marquette Golden Eagles
  11. Michigan State Spartans
  12. Purdue Boilermakers
  13. Villanova Wildcats
  14. Kansas Jayhawks
  15. Texas Tech Red Raiders
  16. Louisville Cardinals
  17. Florida State Seminoles
  18. Kansas State Wildcats
  19. LSU Tigers
  20. Wisconsin Badgers
  21. Iowa Hawkeyes
  22. Virginia Tech Hokies
  23. Iowa State Cyclones
  24. Maryland Terrapins
  25. Buffalo Bulls

In terms of bracketology, USA Today Sports’ latest projection has Kentucky dropping to a 2-seed with Virginia taking their place after having them reversed a week ago. They even try to make a case for North Carolina getting a 1-seed ahead of Kentucky at Michigan.

USA Today

CBS Sports and Bracket WAG also have Kentucky as a 2-seed in the Midwest with Virginia. All of these projections have Tennessee as the 1-seed in the South Region. It’s safe to think Saturday is a must-win for the Cats if they want to climb past Tennessee and play in Louisville.

Kentucky jumped the Virginia Cavaliers in the Power 36 Ranking on NCAA.com, moving up to No. 4 from No. 5 last week.

While Virginia’s loss dropped them from No. 1 in the NCAA NET ranking, they still check in at No. 3, leaving the Wildcats at No. 5.

Sports Illustrated also lists Kentucky at No. 4, as Virginia dropped two spots in their ranking to No. 5.

NBC Sports, however, did not drop the Cavaliers as far and Kentucky remains at No. 5.

CBS Sports still has Kentucky listed at No. 6, with Michigan at No. 5 and Virginia only dropping to No. 4.

The ESPN power rankings can be hard to figure out. Duke jumped Tennessee to be No. 1, Virginia remained at No. 3 despite the loss, and Kentucky moved ahead of North Carolina despite the fact that the Tar Heels won both of their games.

Kentucky is not that far from a 1-seed in projected brackets, something that was impossible to see coming five weeks ago. The Wildcats have seven Quadrant 1 wins at the moment, tied for the third-most in the country. They’ve beaten North Carolina, Kansas and Louisville. There’s a huge chance for John Calipari’s team on Saturday, when Tennessee and its 18-game winning streak comes to town.

While it’s great to be a top 5 team with aspirations of a 1-seed, this coming week could change the entire landscape of the SEC and the seedings for Kentucky, Tennessee, and LSU. It’s a big week.

Is this Kentucky team really as good as we think they are? We may know for sure by Sunday.