Sports Reporter

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Chris Mack (left) and John Calipari should both have their teams in the Top 20 (or higher) when the new AP college basketball poll is released Monday at noon. WDRB Photo/Eric Crawford.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) —Tennessee earned 48 first-place votes last week while ascending to No. 1 for the first time this season in the Associated Press college basketball Top 25.

Then the Vols nearly lost to Vanderbilt,.

I suspect they will lose support when the next poll is released at noon Monday.

But not from me.

1. Tennessee (18-1) — That always dangerous South Carolina/Texas A&M road swing for the Vols.

2. Duke (17-2) — At Notre Dame Monday night, and the Irish have lost six of seven.

3. Virginia (18-1) — Two winnable games this week, then seven days to prepare  for Duke.

4. Michigan (19-1) — The Wolverines still have six road games.

5. Gonzaga (19-2) — No reason to check their scores until March.

6. Kentucky (16-3) — Semi-tricky road games with Vandy and Florida this week.

7. Michigan State (18-3) — I’m so happy I went on a Minneapolis radio station Sunday morning and said the Spartans were deserving of Number One consideration.

8. Nevada (19-1) — See what I said about Gonzaga.

9. Kansas (16-4) — The Jayhawks aren’t great, but neither is the rest of the Big 12.

10. North Carolina (15-4) — The Tar Heels warm up for their weekend trip to Louisville by visiting Georgia Tech Tuesday.

11. Villanova (16-4) — Jay Wright, not shabby.

12. Virginia Tech (16-3) — Nice bounce back win over Syracuse after getting crunched by North Carolina.

13. Houston (20-1) — I’m hearing whispers that serious basketball people believe Kelvin Sampson could take this team to the Final Four.

14. Marquette (18-3) — Hard to believe this team lost to Indiana by 23.

15. Louisville (15-5) — A Wednesday night trip to Wake Forest, considered the worst team in the ACC (by miles) by Ken Pomeroy.

16. LSU (16-3) — The SEC team nobody is talking about.

17. Purdue (14-6) — Hat tip to Matt Painter, who lost four starters but just keeps rolling.

18. Texas Tech (16-4)— The Red Raiders barely survived Arkansas to stop a three-game losing streak.

19. Maryland (16-5) — Looked bad against Michigan State and Illinois after looking so good against Ohio State.

20. Iowa State (15-5) — Steve Prohm’s team is getting healthy.

21. Cincinnati (18-3) — Mick Cronin quietly does a nice job.

22. Wisconsin (14-6) — The Badgers have rallied to win three straight after losing four of five.

23. Buffalo (18-2) — Most people will knock them out of the Top 25 for losing to Northern Illinois. I’m a forgiving guy.

24. North Carolina State (16-4) — Virginia and Virginia Tech at home this week. Better win one.

25. Mississippi State (15-4) — At this point in the season, you’ve go to pick somebody and annoy somebody with this choice.

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