SEC champion Vols climb three spots in AP Top 25 poll

Orange & White Nation

Two days after clinching a share of the SEC regular-season championship, Tennessee was rewarded with a #13 ranking in the latest AP men’s basketball poll. The team is now the highest ranked in the SEC.

The #13 ranking is ironic too, as the Vols were picked to finish thirteenth in the SEC in a preseason media poll.

The Vols (23-7, 13-5 SEC), who started the week ranked #16 in the nation, down Mississippi State 76-54 in Starkville on Tuesday, before returning home to edge Georgia 66-61. With the victory over Georgia, the Vols tied Auburn for the best record in the SEC.

Auburn (25-6, 13-5 SEC) dropped two in a row to Florida and Arkansas, before finishing the year with a 79-70 victory over South Carolina on Saturday to salvage a share of the title. 

Tennessee heads to the SEC tournament in St. Louis, Mo. as the #2 seed in the conference, after a loss to Auburn earlier in January gave the Tigers the head-to-head tiebreaker. Tennessee will face the winner of LSU and Ole Miss on Friday at 6 p.m. in the quarterfinals. The game will be broadcast on the SEC Network.

Auburn and Florida are the only other teams in the Top 25 at #16 and #23 respectively. 

The top 5 in this week’s poll are: Virginia, Villanova, Xavier, Michigan State and Duke.

Meanwhile, the Lady Vols’ SEC title hopes were dashed Friday night after a 73-62 loss to South Carolina in Nashville in the SEC tournament. The Lady Vols now await their NCAA tournament seed and this afternoon’s latest women’s AP poll. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

WATE 6 On Your Side Twitter