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Kentucky keeps rising in new top 25 rankings, NET & bracketology

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Kentucky is getting top-five love and another 1 seed projection.

Quickley Jason Marcum - Sea of Blue

The Kentucky Wildcats have extended their winning streak to eight games, including seven-straight SEC wins.

After a public shaming of Vanderbilt and a dominating comeback at Florida, the Wildcats continue to rise in the rankings.

With both Michigan and Michigan State losing, Kentucky was bound to see a boost in the polls. Regardless of their current rankings, you could make an argument that the Wildcats are playing better right now than any team in the country.

They now have six Quadrant I wins, which not only has them climbing back into the top five of the polls, but also getting 1 seed buzz for the NCAA Tournament.

The new AP Poll has Kentucky ranked as No. 5 in the land, the first time they’ve been this high since the first week of the regular season.

Kentucky is also up to No. 5 in the latest Coaches Poll. The only teams ahead of the Cats in both polls are Tennessee, Duke, Virginia and Gonzaga.

Kentucky’s next opponent, Mississippi State, is unranked in the AP Poll but are No. 21 in the Coaches Poll.

Kentucky’s best wins are over North Carolina (No. 8 in both polls), Kansas (14/13) and Louisville (17/16).

Coaches Top 25 Poll

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

AP Top 25 Poll

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

Elsewhere, USA Today Sports’ latest bracketology has Kentucky earning a 1 seed in the West Region.

Bracket Wag essentially has the same projection, as it appears that final 1 seed is where Kentucky stands at the moment. Of course, a strong finish could get them the second or third one seed, which could put them in Louisville for the South Region.

The Power 36 Ranking on NCAA.com had Kentucky standing pat at No. 5.

Despite Michigan losing by 15 points to Iowa and Michigan State losing to a lousy Indiana team, the top ten teams in the NCAA NET rankings remained the same with Kentucky checking in at No. 6.

Sports Illustrated has Kentucky moving up one spot to No. 5, as they moved Michigan down to No. 7 from the No. 4 spot.

NBC Sports bumped Kentucky up over Michigan State and Michigan to come in at No. 5.

However, at CBS Sports they believe the Wolverines still deserve a higher ranking and Kentucky checks in at No. 6.

The 16 teams in the ESPN power rankings were completely unchanged despite losses by two of the top five teams. The Wildcats remain at No. 7 on this list.

Kentucky is playing as well as anyone in the country right now, and the preseason predictions of the Wildcats winning the title don’t seem so far off. PJ Washington has been the catalyst for the recent streak, averaging 20.5 points, 10.8 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in his last four games. He has continued to expand his game on the offensive end and also hit six 3-pointers during that stretch.

It’s safe to say Kentucky is in a great spot in the first week of February, but there’s still plenty of work to be done in order to secure a 1 seed, especially if they want it to be in Louisville for the South Region.