LEXINGTON, Ky. – The UK men’s basketball team has risen to the top of the polls for the second time in the John Calipari era.
After a perfect 2-0 record last week with wins over Radford and Portland pushing its record to 6-0, coupled with a loss by top-ranked North Carolina, the Wildcats ascend to the top of the basketball world for the second time in the last three years.
“This early in the season it’s nice, but it’s not that significant,” UK head coach John Calipari said. “It just puts a bigger target on us. Obviously, not everyone thinks that we’re the best team. Starting three freshmen and two sophomores, they may be right. I’ll be anxious to see how the team accepts the challenge this week.”
Kentucky owns a 154-24 all-time mark as the top-ranked team (AP)?in the country and has won eight of their last 11 games as the AP’s No. 1 team.
UK head coach John Calipari is one of just two coaches (Frank McGuire) to lead three teams to a No. 1 ranking. Calipari is 42-6 as the top-ranked coach in the country. He tallied a 32-4 mark at UMass when the Minutemen were No. 1 and he was 9-1 at Memphis when he had the Tigers at the pinnacle of the rankings.
In addition, Calipari has guided three of his last five teams to the No. 1 ranking and this year marks the fifth time he’s led his team to the top ranking. He guided his 1994-95 and 1995-96 UMass teams to the No. 1 ranking, as well as his 2007-08 Memphis team and his 2009-10 and 2011-12 Kentucky teams.
The Wildcats’ will be in action on Thursday, hosting the St. John’s Red Storm as a part of the HTC Big East/SEC Challenge. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET and the game will be televised on ESPN.