Kentucky has moved back to No. 1 again.
The Wildcats officially took over the top ranking in both the Associated Press Top 25 and ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ Poll on Monday. Syracuse’s stunning loss to Notre Dame on Saturday night, coupled with Kentucky’s 19-1 start, paved the way for UK to claim the lofty honor.
It’s the second time this season and the third time in three years the Cats have been ranked No. 1 under John Calipari. UK was ranked No. 1 for two weeks in late November and early December before losing at Indiana on a buzzer beater. The Cats went 2-1 during that stretch.
The top ranking was unanimous in the Coaches’ Poll as UK received all 31 of the first-place votes. In the AP Top 25, Kentucky garnered 61 of the 65 first-place votes.
Kentucky beat out No. 2 Missouri for the top spot in both polls. Syracuse, Ohio State and Kansas followed Kentucky and Missouri in the AP Top 25. Ohio State and Syracuse are flip-flopped in the Coaches’ Poll.
UK owns a 156-25 all-time mark as the top-ranked team (AP) in the country and has won 10 of its last 14 games as the AP’s No. 1 team.
Calipari is one of just two coaches (Frank McGuire) to lead three teams to a No. 1 ranking. Calipari is 44-7 as the top-ranked coach in the country. He tallied a 32-4 mark at UMass when the Minutemen were No. 1 and he was 9-1 at Memphis when he had the Tigers at the pinnacle of the rankings.
Calipari has guided three of his last five teams to the No. 1 ranking and this year marks the fifth time he’s led his team to the top ranking. He guided his 1994-95 and 1995-96 UMass teams to the No. 1 ranking, as well as his 2007-08 Memphis team and his 2009-10 and 2011-12 Kentucky teams.
|AP Top 25|
|13||San Diego State||17-2||832|
|ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll|
|12||San Diego State||17-2||403|