Still undefeated and the unanimous No. 1 team in the AP Top 25, perennial Southeastern Conference champion Kentucky now has only league foes to play until March.
Expect to hear plenty about the possibility of an undefeated regular season for the Wildcats (13-0), who open their 18-game SEC schedule Jan. 6 at home against Mississippi.
Unless you’re talking to coach John Calipari.
“They picked the Germans in World War II also. Look, the good news is we have another break,” Calipari said after Kentucky’s latest victory in a top-five matchup, 58-50 at Louisville. “We have (time) to get my team right. We have to put in a different zone because we’re going to face some different things. I want to put in a different rotating press. I want to do some different things offensively to try, because we have time.”
The Wildcats got all 65 first-place votes Monday, marking the fourth week in a row they were No. 1 on every ballot. They have been the top team for all eight polls this season.
Kentucky’s win Saturday over Louisville was its fourth this season against a ranked team, but the first decided by fewer than 12 points.
“There was some disappointment,” Calipari said. “The young guys are just happy they won a game. Again, you have to think about this, you’re coming in, and you all and everyone else has made this like the end-all game. These young kids came in here and performed. They weren’t rattled. They stayed focused on the court, and the game was physical.”
FALLING WILDCATS: Arizona is out of the top three for the first time this season, dropping five spots to eighth after a 71-67 loss to UNLV.
The setback by the Wildcats (12-1) and Louisville’s defeat at home to Kentucky set the stage for some other teams to move up behind No. 2 Duke (10-0), which was unchanged after not playing last week.
No. 3 Virginia (11-0) and No. 4 Wisconsin (12-1) were both up two spots, while Louisville (11-1) slid only one spot to fifth.
Villanova (12-0) and Gonzaga (12-1) were sixth and seventh and both up one spot.
Iowa State and Utah rounded out the top 10.
HOYAS BACK: Georgetown is back in the Top 25 for the first time since the Hoyas were eighth in the final poll of the 2012-13 season.
Georgetown (8-3) is coming off a 91-87 overtime win over Indiana at Madison Square Garden.
BIG 12 CHANGES: Iowa State (9-1) moved up three spots to No. 9 even without playing a game last week and is the Big 12’s highest-ranked team.
The league’s two top-10 squads in last week’s poll both dropped after losing their only games. Texas (10-2) went from ninth to 11th after falling in overtime to Stanford, and Kansas (9-2) was down three spots to 13th after its 25-point loss at Temple.
A week after having a poll-high seven ranked teams, the Big 12 now has six.
Even after overwhelming Grambling State 80-36 in its only game last week after getting ranked for the first time since January 1999, still-undefeated TCU (12-0) dropped out. The Horned Frogs were the first team in others receiving votes.
No. 17 West Virginia (11-1) and No. 18 Oklahoma (8-3) were both up a spot while No. 22 Baylor (10-1) was unchanged from last week.
FALLING LIKE A STONE: Washington’s first loss of the season cost the Huskies eight spots in the poll.
The Huskies dropped to 21st a day after their 62-57 defeat against Stony Brook.