AP Men's Basketball Poll Week 11: Auburn receives historic ranking as 4 SEC teams land in latest top 25
The Auburn students who chanted “No. 1” overnight Friday as they camped out ahead of the game against Kentucky on Saturday got their wish on Monday when the AP Top 25 ranked Auburn No. 1. It’s the first time ever Auburn is ranked No. 1.
It came after the Tigers beat No. 12 Kentucky 80-71 for their 15th straight win.
Gonzaga slipped to No. 2, and the SEC managed 4 teams in the poll, with Kentucky (12), Tennessee (18) and LSU (19), while Alabama and Florida were among the teams outside the poll that received votes.
Bruce Pearl and Auburn players have said in recent weeks that they’d rather be ranked No. 1 in March or April.
“It is historic, and it does matter, and it does mean something,” Pearl said after the Ole Miss win on Jan. 15. “That’ll be a proud moment for Auburn. I understand it doesn’t mean much right now, but it still makes a very strong statement.”
In last week’s poll, Auburn fell just 4 points shy of earning the No. 1 ranking for the first time in program history. No. 1 Gonzaga received 1,486 points, compared to Auburn’s 1,482.
Gonzaga beat San Francisco last week, 78-62, and also had its game against Pacific postponed.
The ongoing debate between Gonzaga and Auburn, especially as seeding conversations ramp up ahead of March, centers on Gonzaga losing to Alabama in Seattle and Auburn beating the Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa.