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  • Montana State Bobcats - November 23, 2014 - Rupp Arena - 6:00 PM EST - SEC Network

The return of the king: UK back atop college basketball polls

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
RK TEAM RECORD PTS
1 Kentucky (61) 19-1 1,620
2 Missouri (2) 18-1 1,532
3 Syracuse (2) 20-1 1,506
4 Ohio State 17-3 1,411
5 Kansas 16-3 1,383
6 Baylor 17-2 1,234
7 North Carolina 16-3 1,232
8 Duke 16-3 1,176
9 Georgetown 16-3 1,045
10 Michigan State 16-4 1,009
11 Murray State 20-0 925
12 UNLV 18-3 886
13 San Diego State 17-2 832
14 Florida 15-4 709
15 Creighton 18-2 682
16 Indiana 16-4 609
17 Marquette 16-4 517
18 Mississippi State 16-4 422
19 Virginia 15-3 414
20 Michigan 15-5 396
21 Saint Mary’s 19-2 345
22 Kansas State 14-4 252
23 Florida State 13-6 244
24 Connecticut 14-5 203
25 Wisconsin 16-5 182

 

ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll
RK TEAM RECORD PTS
1 Kentucky (31) 19-1 775
2 Missouri 18-1 725
3 Ohio State 17-3 687
4 Syracuse 20-1 686
5 Kansas 16-3 660
6 Duke 16-3 571
7 Baylor 17-2 569
8 North Carolina 16-3 565
9 Murray State 20-0 502
10 Georgetown 16-3 498
11 Michigan State 16-4 453
12 San Diego State 17-2 403
13 Florida 15-4 396
14 Creighton 18-2 343
15 UNLV 18-3 337
16 Mississippi State 16-4 236
17 Indiana 16-4 230
18 Marquette 16-4 213
19 Connecticut 14-5 203
20 Saint Mary’s 19-2 193
21 Virginia 15-3 171
22 Michigan 15-5 165
23 Harvard 16-2 99
24 Kansas State 14-4 80
25 Louisville 15-5 49
25 Wisconsin 16-5 49