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Where Tennessee Basketball Ranks In Feb. 19 AP Poll After A Dominant Week

Photo via Tennessee Athletics

Tennessee basketball climbed three-spots to No. 5 in this week’s AP Top 25 after the Vols dominated lesser conference opponents.

The Vols jumped Marquette, Kansas and North Carolina while remaining the top ranked SEC team in the AP Poll. Rick Barnes’ ninth Tennessee team comes in ahead of No. 13 Alabama, No. 14 Auburn, No. 17 Kentucky, No. 20 South Carolina and No. 24 Florida in the SEC.

After suffering its most lopsided loss of the season a week earlier at Texas A&M, the Vols turned in an extremely dominant week in victories over Arkansas and Vanderbilt. Tennessee defeated the Razorbacks 92-63 in Fayetteville thanks to a dominant second half. It took Tennessee no time to begin dominating Vanderbilt. The Vols opened up a 31-point halftime lead before cruising to an 88-53 victory.

“First half I thought we were terrific,” Tennessee coach Rick Barnes said of the Vanderbilt game. “We shot the ball well. But I just know the preparation of our guys, because of the respect for his (Jerry Stackhouse) program and the way he does things, our guys came out ready to play.”

More From RTI: Zakai Zeigler Moves Into Top 10 In Tennessee Career Assists

With two wins by a total of 64 points, a myriad of Vols had big performances on the week. Junior big man Jonas Aidoo bounced back from a slow stretch by totaling 23 points and 12 rebounds at Arkansas before adding 11 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks in just 20 minutes against Vanderbilt.

Junior point guard Zakai Zeigler and super senior wing Josiah-Jordan James also had big weeks. Zeigler totaled 23 points, 11 assists and four steals while playing just 54 minutes. James totaled 25 points, 10 rebounds and four steals in the two lopsided wins.

The Vols travel to Missouri on Tuesday night before returning to Knoxville to host Texas A&M on Saturday night. Tennessee needs to pick up two wins this week to stay in the thick of the SEC Championship race.

Tip-off between the Vols and Tigers is at 7 p.m. ET on Tuesday night. The SEC Network is broadcasting the game.

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