College basketball continues to be completely unpredictable.
Teams that we thought were dead are coming back to life (Michigan State), and recent top five teams continue to skid (Louisville, Ohio State). We should be used to it by now, but there have once again been significant shakeups in college basketball polls across the board.
The Kentucky Wildcats’ win over Missouri was not overly impressive in and of itself, but they did handle their business and continue the momentum they started with the big win over Louisville. Several key players (Nick Richards, Immanuel Quickley) continued to show that they are ready for the big stage, and thankfully the Wildcats, most notably Ashton Hagans, seemed to dodge major injury scares.
With some major losses above them in the rankings (Louisville, Michigan, Villanova), the Wildcats are slowly climbing their way back up toward the top 10. Here is where they fall in this week’s edition of each ranking.
The latest AP Top 25 Poll has Kentucky climbing up to the No. 14. Gonzaga remained the No. 1 team.
The ESPN Power Rankings bumped Kentucky up from No. 15 to No. 12 this week. That makes perfect sense with three teams above them losing and ultimately falling out of the rankings. Jeff Borzello had this to say about the Wildcats:
“All eyes are on the status of point guard Ashton Hagans, who left Saturday’s win over Missouri late -- although John Calipari said it was an ankle injury, as opposed to an Achilles. On the plus side, Calipari is getting a continued resurgence from big man Nick Richards and sophomore guard Immanuel Quickley. Richards has been dominant at times over the past two games, notching back-to-back double-doubles after finishing with 21 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks on Saturday. Quickley has provided a huge boost to Kentucky’s perimeter production, totaling 41 points and six 3-pointers off the bench the past two games. If Kentucky gets the recent version of those players -- in addition to Tyrese Maxey and a healthy Hagans -- the Wildcats are going to be a tough out.”
Andy Katz bumped Kentucky up to No. 12 in his latest Power 36, a three-spot rise from last week.
Kentucky remained at No. 15 in the CBS Top 25 And 1. Louisville and Villanova did not see a significant enough drop after their losses to move Kentucky ahead of them.
The Wildcats did see some improvement in the one ranking that matters, the NET. They rose from No. 42 to No. 38 with their loss as well as the losses of those above them. Michigan State’s recent resurgence should also boost Kentucky’s value in the NET rankings.