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Kentucky jumps to No. 5 in AP Top 25; Auburn, Gonzaga 1-2

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Auburn remained No. 1 in The Associated Press men’s college basketball poll for the second straight week, while Kentucky jumped into the top five for the first time in more than two years.

Bruce Pearl’s Tigers earned 49 of 61 first-place votes to extend the program’s first stay at the top and stay comfortably ahead of Gonzaga, which earned the other 12 first-place votes. Auburn (20-1) has won 17 straight games since losing a double-overtime game to Connecticut in November.

UCLA climbed to No. 3, followed by Purdue – which claimed its first No. 1 ranking earlier this season – and Kentucky. John Calipari’s Wildcats (17-4) had the week’s biggest jump, rising seven spots after winning by 18 at Kansas on Saturday.

This marks the highest ranking for Kentucky since the 2019-20 season, when the Wildcats spent one week at No. 1 in the first regular-season poll and sat at No. 6 in early March.

Houston and Arizona were next, followed by reigning national champion Baylor – which spent five weeks at No. 1 but has split its last six games after Saturday’s loss at Alabama. The Bears’ four-spot slide marked the first time the Big 12 hasn’t had at least one team in the top five since the final poll of the 2018-19 season.

Duke and Kansas rounded out the top 10, with the Jayhawks falling five spots after the Kentucky loss.

No. 25 LSU took the week’s biggest tumble, falling six spots after losing at TCU. Texas re-joined the poll at No. 23 as the lone new addition following a one-week absence in a season that saw the Longhorns open at No. 5.

Davidson fell out of the poll from No. 25 after earning the program’s first AP Top 25 ranking since March 2015.

Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at https://twitter.com/aaronbeardap

More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25



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