Kentucky fell eight spots to No. 12 and South Carolina made its first appearance in this week’s Associated Press Top 25.
The Wildcats dropped in the poll once again after sustaining its second loss of the month to Ohio State last Saturday. Freshman guard Jamal Murray’s scored 33 points in a heroic effort, but it was not enough in a 74-67 loss to the Buckeyes.
Kentucky has two losses in four games after starting the season 7-0. The Wildcats were ranked first in the country before losing to UCLA on the road. The Wildcats will have a chance to rebound in the rankings if they can knock off in-state rival Louisville at home on Saturday.
The SEC also had a newcomer break into the Top 25. South Carolina cracked the rankings at No. 25 this week. Frank Martin’s Gamecocks dominated Drexel at home before winning its first true road game of the season against in-state rival Clemson.
The Gamecocks (10-0) are unexpectedly the lone undefeated team in the SEC. South Carolina features a balanced, veteran-laden club that has five players scoring in double figures. The Gamecocks are led by senior forward Mindaugas Kacinas, who is averaging 13 points and 6.1 rebounds this season.
South Carolina will square off with Big East foe St. John’s on Tuesday.
Texas A&M was the third team ranked inside the Top 25. The Aggies moved up three spots to 21st in the poll after knocking off No. 16 Baylor 80-61 last Saturday. Guards Danuel House and Jalen Jones each scored 17 points while center Tyler Davis tallied 15 points and five boards during the win.
A&M will complete its non-conference slate with a home game against Cal Poly before opening SEC play against Arkansas next weekend.