Kentucky Basketball: Cats Ascend to No. 1 Ranking

Kentucky Basketball Ascends to No. 1 in AP Top 25 and USA Today Coaches Poll after 4-0 start to the season

Nov 11, 2016; Lexington, KY, USA; Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari smiles during the game against the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks in the second half at Rupp Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

The Kentucky Wildcats, after a 4-0 start, including a blowout win over 13th-ranked Michigan State, has ascended to No. 1 atop both the AP Top 25 and USA Today Coaches Poll today.

The Cats amassed 42 out of 65 available first-place votes in the AP Top 25, while garnering 20 out of 31 available first-place votes in the USA Today Coaches Poll. For coach John Calipari, this marks the sixth time he’s skippered the Cats to the top of the polls during his eight-year run in Lexington-and fourth consecutive season. For the program, this marks the 123rd week all-time in the AP Top 25, third overall, behind only UCLA (134) and Duke (129). Kentucky is 66-6 while being ranked No. 1 under Calipari.

Both polls read like a who’s-who of Kentucky’s most hated rivals, predictably, with Indiana, North Carolina, Kansas, Duke and Louisville all in the top 10. UCLA ranks 13th in each poll, while Bob Huggins’ West Virginia cracks the top 20 in each. Michigan State, following its second loss of the season, fell to 24 in the AP and 20 in USA Today Coaches. Kentucky remains the only SEC in either top 25 poll, although Florida received votes in both polls, while Texas A&M and Arkansas received votes in the USA Today Coaches Poll. SEE BOTH TOP 25 POLLS.

AP Top 25

Nov 13, 2016; Lexington, KY, USA; Kentucky Wildcats cheerleaders perform during the game against the Canisius Golden Griffins in the second half at Rupp Arena. Kentucky defeated Canisius 93-69. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

  1. Kentucky (42), 1,592 points
  2. Villanova (21), 1,561 points
  3. Indiana (2), 1,443 points
  4. North Carolina, 1,399 points
  5. Kansas, 1,374 points
  6. Duke, 1,337 points
  7. Virginia, 1,198 points
  8. Arizona, 1,129 points
  9. Xavier, 1,099 points
  10. Louisville, 947 points

USA Today Coaches Poll

  1. Kentucky (20), 754 points
  2. Villanova (4), 725 points
  3. Duke (5), 658 points
  4. North Carolina, 654 points
  5. Indiana (2), 650 points
  6. Virginia, 600 points
  7. Kansas, 600 points
  8. Xavier, 645 points
  9. Arizona, 530 points
  10. Louisville, 470 points

Kentucky returns to action Nov. 23 to take on Cleveland State in Rupp Arena, part of the Bluegrass Showcase. Tip-off is at 1 PM EST, and the game will be broadcast live on the SEC Network.

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