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Tennessee Basketball Climbs In Feb. 26 AP Poll

Photo By Andrew Ferguson/Tennessee Athletics

Tennessee basketball jumped one-spot from No. 5 to No. 4 in the Feb. 26 Associated Press poll ahead of its four-game gauntlet to end the regular season.

The Vols jumped Arizona in the rankings this week after the Wildcats fell to Washington State in Tucson on Friday night. Arizona bounced back from its home loss by knocking off Washington at home on Saturday afternoon.

Tennessee comes in behind No. 1 Houston, No. 2 Purdue and No. 3 UConn in this week’s rankings as the Vols vie with the Wildcats and North Carolina for the final one-seed.

The Vols are one of six SEC teams in this week’s rankings coming in ahead of No. 11 Auburn, No. 14 Alabama, No. 16 Kentucky, No. 18 South Carolina and No. 24 Florida. Mississippi State also received votes.

Rick Barnes’ ninth Tennessee team is coming off a 2-0 week that saw them overcome a poor first half to defeat Missouri in Columbia before dominating Texas A&M in Knoxville on Saturday night. The Vols avenged their loss in College Station two weeks prior by earning a 35-point victory over the Aggies.

More From RTI: What Buzz Williams Said After Tennessee Dominated Texas A&M

Nearly everyone played well for Tennessee against Texas A&M, most notably junior point guard Zakai Zeigler and junior power forward Jonas Aidoo. Zeigler flirted with a triple-double against the Aggies, totaling nine points, 14 assists and nine rebounds to go along with four steals. Aidoo totaled 18 points on an efficient nine-of-14 shooting performance to go along with 14 rebounds and three blocks.

Tennessee’s 2-0 week combined with Alabama’s loss at Kentucky allowed the Vols to pull even with the Crimson Tide atop the SEC standings with two weeks remaining in the regular season.

The Vols boast an incredibly difficult schedule this week, hosting No. 11 Auburn on Wednesday night before traveling to No. 14 Alabama on Saturday night.

Tipoff between Tennessee and Auburn is at 7 p.m. ET at Thompson-Boling Arena at Food City Center on Wednesday night. ESPN2 is broadcasting the game.

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