Tennessee Cracks the AP Top Five; First Time Since 2019

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    Where are we picking the Duke Blue Devils to lose?

    After taking home their first SEC Tournament championship in the last 43 years, the Tennessee Vols’ basketball team made history once again the next day. Except for this time, the history is a little more recent.

    The AP Poll has released their Week 19 College Basketball rankings, with Tennessee coming in at No. 5, their highest ranking of the season. The Vols were previously ranked No. 9 heading into the SEC Tournament last week.

    With the Vols coming in at No. 5 in the rankings, it is the highest AP Poll spot that Tennessee has been at since March of 2019 (No. 5). From that point until now, the Vols had not achieved a ranking higher than the sixth slot.

    March Madness: Committee Snubs Tennessee in NCAA Tournament Seeding

    This is the sixth time that Tennessee has had a single-digit ranking in the last three seasons. The Vols were not ranked within the Top 10 for the entirety of this season until last week and this week, plus the four weeks that Tennessee spent in that frame during the 2020-2021 season.

    In the last six weeks, the Volunteers have climbed in the rankings every week but one. However, even that slide wasn’t drastic at all, with Tennessee dropping from No. 16 to No. 17 after a win against Kentucky and a loss to Arkansas.

    In addition, as the champions of the SEC Tournament with a definitive win over Kentucky, Tennessee is the highest-ranked team from the SEC in the AP Poll.

    Kentucky, who lost to Tennessee in the semi-finals, comes in at No. 7 while Auburn is ranked at No. 8 after a quarterfinal loss to Texas A&M. The Arkansas Razorbacks close out the SEC’s four at No. 17.

    AP Rankings – Week 19 – Mar. 14

    • Legend: SEC teams are in bold, while teams in Tennessee’s South Region of the NCAA Tournament have a star*
    1. Gonzaga (26-3)
    2. Arizona* (31-3)
    3. Kansas (28-6)
    4. Baylor (26-6)
    5. Tennessee* (26-7)
    6. Villanova* (26-7)
    7. Kentucky (26-7)
    8. Auburn (27-5)
    9. Duke (28-6)
    10. Purdue (27-7)
    11. UCLA (25-7)
    12. Texas Tech (25-9)
    13. Providence (25-5)
    14. Wisconsin (24-7)
    15. Houston* (29-5)
    16. Iowa (26-9)
    17. Arkansas (25-8)
    18. Saint Mary’s (25-7)
    19. Illinois* (22-9)
    20. Murray State (30-2)
    21. Connecticut (23-9)
    22. USC (26-7)
    23. Boise State (27-7)
    24. Colorado State* (25-5)
    25. Texas (21-11)

    Tennessee Ranking History 2021-2022

    • Week 1/Preseason – No. 18
    • Week 2 – No. 17
    • Week 3 – No. 15
    • Week 4 – No. 13
    • Week 5 – No. 13
    • Week 6 – No. 18
    • Week 7 – No. 19
    • Week 8 – No. 14
    • Week 9 – No. 18
    • Week 10 – No. 22
    • Week 11 – No. 24
    • Week 12 – No. 18
    • Week 13 – No. 22
    • Week 14 – No. 19
    • Week 15 – No. 16
    • Week 16 – No. 17
    • Week 17 – No. 13
    • Week 18 – No. 9
    • Week 19 – No. 5
    Ric Butler is a Knoxville based sports media personality who has covered University of Tennessee athletics since 2017. Most recently, he served as the lead writer for the website of a local radio station. Ric also helped create and host a daily radio show called “The Blitz." Ric’s passion for sports, smooth vocal, and infectious personality have made him popular with both his peers and Vol Nation. Originally from Dallas, Ric didn’t grow up riding horses to school. But he did dream of the big city lights. When not chasing down the latest Tennessee story, Ric can be found watching the WWE, often attempting their moves in an embarrassing fashion.