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Men's basketball holds fast at No. 2, UK Hoops up to No. 9

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John Calipari and the Kentucky Wildcats stayed put at No. 2 in the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Coaches Top 25, both of which were released on Monday. Only Syracuse is ranked higher, as UK received five out of a possible 65 first-place votes from the media and one out of 31 from coaches. The number of first-place votes is unchanged, but the Wildcats did gain a little ground in both polls, grabbing four more points in the Coaches poll and three more in the AP compared with last week.

With a pair of home conference wins last week, Matthew Mitchell and UK Hoops moved up two spots to No. 9 in the AP Top 25 with a showdown against No. 6 Tennessee looming on Thursday at 7 p.m. in Memorial Coliseum. The Wildcats' return to the top 10 means UK is just one of three schools with men's and women's teams each ranking in the AP top 10, joining Baylor and Duke.

The Coaches poll will be released tomorrow.

Just as importantly, the NCAA also released a new set of official RPI rankings for both men's and women's basketball. The RPI is one of the key evaluation points for the Selection Committee in both the men's and women's game. For the second consecutive week, the men check in at No. 8 in the RPI. The Wildcats only figure to improve in that department as eight of UK's 11 SEC opponents rank in the top 100.

Accordingly, UK is once again a No. 1 seed in ESPN's Bracketology.

Having played three conference games already, UK Hoops is already feeling the positive impact of the conference schedule on its RPI. Wins over Arkansas and Mississippi State moved UK all the way up to No. 29 after being ranked outside of the top 50 coming into this week.

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