Kentucky out of AP poll for first time since ’14

Kentucky fell out of The Associated Press Top 25 for the first time in nearly four years, snapping a 68-week stretch in the poll.

Coach John Calipari’s Wildcats were No. 18 last week but lost to South Carolina on Tuesday and then to Florida on Saturday night to end a 30-game home winning streak in Southeastern Conference play at Rupp Arena. Kentucky was last out of the AP poll in March 2014.

Kentucky (14-5, 4-3 SEC) started the season at No. 5 and remained in the top 10 until Christmas Day. The Wildcats have lost three of five overall and are 0-2 against ranked teams this year.

“We’re going to be fine,” Calipari said after Saturday’s 66-64 loss to Florida. “I was worried after South Carolina, now. I’m not worried after this. We’ll be fine. I was worried after Vanderbilt to be honest with you, and we won that game. They do this and they stay this course and this is who we are, we’ll be fine.”

Villanova (18-1) maintained its hold on No. 1 for the third straight week, receiving 63 of 65 first-place votes in the poll released Monday.

No. 2 Virginia (18-1) and No. 3 Purdue (19-2) split the remaining first-place votes. The Cavaliers have won 10 consecutive games and the Boilermakers have won 15 straight.

Duke (17-2) moved up a spot to No. 4, while Kansas (16-3) jumped five spots to No. 5 after winning at West Virginia.

Michigan State (17-3), West Virginia (16-3), Xavier (18-3), Cincinnati (17-2) and reigning national champion North Carolina (16-4) rounded out the top 10.

No. 12 Oklahoma (14-4), No. 14 Texas Tech (15-4) and No. 17 Wichita State (15-4) each lost twice last week to take big falls in the poll.

–Field Level Media

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