Following a 79-71 loss to Duke and a 100-60 win over Robert Morris, the Kentucky Wildcats checked in at No. 13 in the latest college basketball AP Top 25 Poll, a three-spot drop from their previous ranking.
Kentucky is still the highest-ranked team in the SEC, with Alabama (13), Arkansas (14) and Tennessee (17) trailing closely. Auburn (21) and Florida (24) are the other league members in this week’s top 25.
As of now, Kentucky will face just one ranked opponent over the next 14 games, which is No. 19 Ohio State in the CBS Sports Classic. However, the Wildcats then face nine ranked foes of their final 15 regular-season games, including the SEC/Big 12 Challenge matchup at No. 3 Kansas.
Elsewhere, Kentucky fell from No. 9 to No. 14 in the new ESPN power rankings by Jeff Borzello, who offered this assessment of the Wildcats.
While Kentucky is more experienced than I’ve seen in the past, the Wildcats are still trying to turn a very deep and talented newcomer class into a cohesive unit — so it shouldn’t have been too much of a surprise that their progression is a little bit behind that of Duke’s, especially when you factor in a couple of preseason injuries. On the plus side, Georgia transfer Sahvir Wheeler has looked fantastic as the playmaker, dishing out 22 assists in two games, while West Virginia transfer Oscar Tshiebwe might end up leading the nation in rebounds. Tshiebwe averaged an absurd 20 boards in back-to-back games to start the season, 22 of which were on the offensive end. One note from over the weekend: Iowa transfer CJ Fredrick will undergo surgery this week and is expected to miss the season with a hamstring injury. He was arguably the best shooter in the portal and could have really stretched the defense for the Wildcats.
College Basketball AP Top 25 Poll
18. North Carolina
19. Ohio State
22. St. Bonaventure
Others receiving votes: Virginia Tech 50, Indiana 35, Texas Tech 27, BYU 26, Michigan St. 18, Arizona 15, Florida St. 15, Colorado St. 15, Iowa 13, Xavier 12, Syracuse 12, Oklahoma St. 10, Seton Hall 7, Rutgers 7, Mississippi St. 6, St. John’s 4, Drake 3, LSU 3, Furman 2, Virginia 2, Ohio 1, Loyola Chicago 1.