Vols, Lady Vols drop in latest AP basketball poll after losses

The Tennessee Volunteers basketball team (19-7, 9-5 SEC) dropped one spot to #19 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll released this afternoon. 

The SEC proved that top to bottom, it's one of the toughest conferences in the country and the Vols learned that the hard way over the last week.

Tennessee squeaked out a 70-67 win over South Carolina (14-13, 5-9 SEC) in Knoxville on Tuesday. The Gamecocks are currently 13th in the SEC standings. 

The Vols then traveled to Athens, Ga. on Saturday to square off with Bulldogs (15-11, 6-8 SEC). Despite entering the game as a three-point favorite, Tennessee lost 73-62.

After losses by Auburn, Alabama and Florida, the Vols were poised to move within a game of first place in the SEC, but just couldn't get over the hump against Georgia.

Rick Barnes' Vols host Florida (17-10, 8-6 SEC) on Wednesday at 9 p.m. at Thompson-Boling Arena in a game with huge SEC tournament implications. The Gators are only a game back of Tennessee in the SEC standings. They travel to Oxford to take on Ole Miss on Saturday.

With four games yet, the Vols are trying to wrap up a top-four seed in the SEC tournament in St. Louis, which would guarantee them a double-bye. The tournament begins Wednesday, March 7.

Virginia, Michigan State, Villanova, Xavier and Duke make up the top five in this week's poll. Auburn (#12) is the only other ranked SEC team.

In the women's poll, the Lady Vols tumbled four sports to number 15 in the country after losing to Alabama on Thursday and Missouri on Saturday. The Lady Vols (21-6, 9-5 SEC) finish up their season at Florida on Thursday and at home against South Carolina on Sunday. 

Tennessee is one of four universities to have both men's and women's programs in the rankings this week, joining Duke, Ohio State and Florida State. 


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