While two SEC teams moved up in the most recent Associated Press Top 25 poll, the conference’s most prolific program took another step backward.
Kentucky (12-3, 2-1) dropped five spots in the poll to No. 14 after splitting a pair of SEC road contests last week. Kentucky’s week was headlined by an 18-point road loss to LSU during which the Wildcats led for only 24 seconds. The Wildcats were mauled on the glass by the Tigers, losing the rebounding battle by a 46-32 margin.
Kentucky responded nicely with a 77-61 road win over Alabama, but that victory over the Crimson Tide wasn’t enough to avoid a slip in the polls.
Texas A&M came in right behind the Wildcats after advancing six spots to No. 15 in the poll. The Aggies (13-2, 3-0) lived dangerously this past week in notching two road victories by single digits. Texas A&M started the week by staving off Mississippi State 61-60 on Wednesday.
The Aggies were truly on the ropes against Tennessee on Saturday and overcame a sluggish start to knock off the Volunteers. Texas A&M staged a 13-1 run in the final minutes to steal a victory in Knoxville, Tenn.
The final team listed in the poll was South Carolina, which moved up three spots to No. 22 in the poll. The Gamecocks kept their perfect season alive with victories over Auburn and Vanderbilt last week. The Gamecocks breezed past Auburn in their first SEC road test of the season, but a home game with Vandy gave Frank Martin’s crew some trouble.
Unlike previous seasons, the Gamecocks were able to persevere through some early adversity and outlasted the Commodores, 69-65.