Monday, January 31, 2022

Cats Move Up to Number 5 in the AP Poll

Kentucky had a huge 80-62 win at Kansas on Saturday, and the AP rewarded them by moving the Cats from 12th up to 5th in the AP Poll.  The last time UK played a game as the number-5 team was on February 16, 2019, when number-1 Tennessee came to Lexington.  The Cats blew UT out of the gym, beating them 86-69.  Soon afterward, Reid Travis got hurt at Missouri, and UK was never quite that sharp again.  They ended up losing to Auburn in the Elite Eight.

Kentucky was number 5 on March 22, 1975, when the Cats beat Indiana (undefeated and ranked number 1) 92 to 90 to win the Mideast Region and advance to the Final Four for the first time since 1966.

The Cats were also number 5 when they rolled through the tournament in 1997 before losing to Arizona in the final.  And they were number 5 when they beat Arizona 93-92 on December 23, 1993 to win the Maui Classic.

But Kentucky's best game as number 5 took place on March 30, 1998, when the Cats beat Utah (ranked number 7) to win the National Championship.


  1. Kentucky was fantastic Saturday. It just seemed like everyone who came in the game did valuable things--and a couple of them played better than I'd ever seen them play. It occurred to me just how many good players you have to have (or just how great you have to have a few players to be) to actually win a national championship, and it made me appreciate all of UK's national-championship teams even more.

    1. For the whole season, I've been telling myself that someday, Brooks's ability to make the medium-range jump shot will come in handy. And then it did. That pleased me enormously.

  2. You know what's a bad look for college basketball? An official review with 26.9 seconds left in a game where Duke is beating Notre Dame 57-43. I don't know why more people aren't taking Duke seriously as a National Contender. UK played Duke and Auburn, and I thought Duke was better.

  3. Kentucky is now up to number 2 on Ken Pom.

  4. The Cats beat Vandy 77-70 in the usual slugfest at Rupp. UK is now number 3 on Ken Pom. They also had a bit more luck -- their "luck" rating is now up to number 277.