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UK takes back top spot in AP, Coaches' poll

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UK returns to No.1 in both polls after defeating Alabama on Saturday. (Chet White, UK Athletics) UK returns to No.1 in both polls after defeating Alabama on Saturday. (Chet White, UK Athletics)
Kentucky is back atop the mountain of college basketball.

On the strength of a 19-1 record and a perfect 5-0 start to conference play, John Calipari and the Wildcats ascended to a No. 1 ranking in both the Associated Press Top 25 and ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Poll, and it's close to unanimous.

UK moved into the top spot from No. 2 in the AP poll after previous No. 1 Syracuse lost on the road to Notre Dame on Saturday evening. The Wildcats received 61 out of a possible 65 votes for first place. Future Southeastern Conference member Missouri is at No. 2 with a pair votes and third-ranked Syracuse received the remaining two first-place votes.

All 31 coaches voting in the ESPN/USA Today poll tabbed UK as the new No. 1. Fellow SEC schools Florida (No. 13) and Mississippi State (No. 16) join the Cats in the latest coaches' poll.

This week marks the third this season that the Wildcats have occupied the top spot in both polls. UK was No. 1 for two weeks beginning on Nov. 28 before losing on Jan. 10 at Indiana. Calipari also led Kentucky to the top ranking for one week in 2009-2010.

The Wildcats will be looking for their first road win as the nation's No. 1 in Calipari's tenure as they travel to face Georgia on Tuesday and Louisiana State on Saturday. UK lost to the Hoosiers as No. 1 earlier this season and to South Carolina two seasons ago.

Once again, Joe Lunardi of ESPN.com lists Kentucky as a No. 1 seed in his weekly Bracketology. UK remains the No. 2 overall seed behind Syracuse. There is one slight change for Kentucky in the projection, as the Wildcats are placed in the South Region in Atlanta rather than the Midwest (St. Louis) as they had been in previous weeks.

The new Associated Press women's poll was also unveiled on Monday, with Matthew Mitchell and UK Hoops holding firm at No. 6 following wins on the road over Georgia and at home against Florida.

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