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Vols Get Leapfrogged in Updated AP Poll

Photo by Anne Newman/RTI

Despite taking care of business while No. 1 Kansas fell over the weekend, the No. 3 Tennessee Volunteers remained stationary in this week’s updated AP Poll.

Tennessee defeated Samford and Wake Forest this past week, and No. 1 Kansas lost to No. 18 Arizona State 80-76 on the road on Saturday night. Most thought the Vols would jump up a spot from No. 3 to No. 2 in the AP Poll because of that.

Alas, that didn’t happen. Though UT came very close to securing that No. 2 spot.

Michigan leapfrogged the Vols in the updated AP Poll, finishing a mere one point ahead of Tennessee in Monday’s poll. The Vols actually received more first place votes than Michigan, earning 12 such votes compared to nine for the Wolverines. But Michigan earned a total of 1,472 points in this week’s updated poll, and Tennessee finished just one point behind them with 1,471 points. The Wolverines played one game this past week, defeating Air Force 71-50. Michigan is still undefeated on the season and owns wins over three ranked teams (Villanova, North Carolina, Purdue).

Duke moved up to the top spot, earning 35 first place votes. Virginia moved up to No. 4 and received four first place votes. Kansas still earned some first place votes, also picking up four while sliding down to No. 5 in the poll.

Other SEC teams in the top 25 are Auburn (12th), Kentucky (16th), and Mississippi State (19th).

The Vols are currently riding a six-game winning streak and have only lost once in their first 11 contests. That lone loss came to Kansas in overtime in New York. The Jayhawks were No. 2 at the time.

Otherwise, it’s been smooth sailing for Rick Barnes’ squad this season.

Tennessee took down then-No. 1 Gonzaga 76-73 in Phoenix on December 9th, and every one of their other victories have come by double digits. The closest contest they’ve had besides their win over Gonzaga and their 87-81 loss to Kansas was their 102-92 victory over Memphis on the road on December 15th.

The Vols have now been ranked inside the top five of the AP Poll for three straight weeks and have been inside the top five of the poll for five of the eight weeks the poll has been out this season. Tennessee has now been ranked in the AP Poll for 22 consecutive weeks, the fourth-longest streak in program history.

Tennessee will get a chance to try and impress AP voters and change their minds at the end of this week when they host Tennessee Tech on Saturday, December 19th at 1:00 PM Eastern.

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