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Where the SEC Lands in Latest AP Poll and ESPN Power Rankings

Tennessee Kentucky SEC Basketball
Photo By Andrew Ferguson/Tennessee Athletics

Despite a loss to South Carolina to start the week, Tennessee’s 103-92 win over then-No. 10 Kentucky cemented Rick Barnes’ Volunteers as the top team in the conference moving forward. The Vols have two unranked conference losses to South Carolina and Mississippi State but have dominant wins over Ole Miss, Florida, and Alabama with impressive wins over Kentucky and Georgia.

Tennessee’s 16-5 overall, 6-2 SEC record puts the Vols at just the fourth position in the SEC rankings but Tennessee does hold the conference’s highest position in the AP Poll.

The Vols fell one spot to the No. 6 ranking in the nation after losing to South Carolina and beating Kentucky while Auburn jumped up four spots to No. 12. The Gamecocks, meanwhile, skyrocketed from unranked to No. 15 after taking down Tennessee and Georgia on the road this week.

Alabama bumped up eight spots to No. 16 while Kentucky fell seven spots to No. 17 in the nation.

Ole Miss was the only SEC team to receive votes outside of the Top 25 with 10 votes.

Feb. 5 AP Top 25 SEC Teams

No. 6: Tennessee
No. 12: Auburn
No. 15: South Carolina
No. 16: Alabama
No. 17: Kentucky

More from RTI: Zakai Zeigler And Josiah-Jordan James Move Up Tennessee Basketball Scoring List At Rupp Arena

Jeff Borzello’s ESPN Power Rankings have a little bit of a different order and are only up to 16 spots, though. Borzello is a tad higher on Tennessee than the AP rankings, slotting the Vols in the fourth spot behind only UConn, Purdue, and North Carolina.

“Speaking of bounce-backs, Zakai Zeigler had one of the best individual performances from a point guard we’ve seen this season,” Borzello wrote. “Against Kentucky on Saturday, he finished with 26 points and 13 assists — the first Tennessee player with 25 points and 10 assists in at least 25 years and the second player in the past 25 seasons to put up those numbers at Rupp Arena, according to ESPN Stats & Information. He scored or assisted on 60 of Tennessee’s 103 points.”

The ESPN college basketball expert is also far higher on Alabama than the AP poll voters are but nailed the same exact spots for Auburn and South Carolina.

Kentucky was one of the teams that fell out of Borzello’s power rankings after dropping back-to-back games in Rupp Arena last week.

Jeff Borzello’s SEC Power Rankings (ESPN)

No. 4: Tennessee
No. 9: Alabama
No. 12: Auburn
No. 15: South Carolina

No. 6 Tennessee will host LSU in the Food City Center on Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. ET before a road contest at Texas A&M on Saturday night at 8:00 p.m. on ESPN.

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