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Auburn climbed two spots to No. 2 in the nation in the latest Associated Press men’s college basketball poll released Monday, but it still has never been No. 1 in the nation.
Gonzaga (14-2) grabbed that top spot after jumping from No. 2 with previous No. 1 and defending national champion Baylor (15-2) dropping to No. 5 after losses to Texas Tech and Oklahoma State last week. Gonzaga defeated Brigham Young and Santa Clara.
Arizona (14-1) rose to No. 3 from No. 6 with Purdue (14-2) at No. 4.
Auburn (16-1) has the most wins in the nation and moved to No. 1 in the CBS Sports poll, but two road wins at No. 24 Alabama and at Ole Miss were not enough. The Tigers are No. 2 in the A.P. poll for the first time since Feb. 22, 1999.
Other SEC teams ranked were No. 12 Kentucky (14-3), which jumped from No. 18 after winning 78-66 at Vanderbilt and blitzing No. 22 Tennessee 107-79 last week, and LSU (15-2) at No. 13. The Tigers dropped one spot after a home loss to Arkansas on Saturday that followed a win at Florida.
Tennessee (11-5) dropped two spots to No. 24. Alabama (11-6) dropped from No. 24 to out of the poll after three straight losses.
The rest of the top 10 had Duke (14-2) at No. 6, Kansas (14-2) at No. 7, Wisconsin (14-2) at No. 8, UCLA (11-2) at No. 9 and Houston (15-2) at No. 10. UCLA fell from No. 3 after an 84-81 overtime loss to Oregon.
The second 10 had Villanova, Kentucky, LSU, Michigan State and Iowa State at No. 11 through No. 15 with USC, Illinois, Texas Tech, Ohio State and Xavier from No. 16 through No. 20.
Providence was No. 21, followed by Loyola-Chicago, Texas, Tennessee and Connecticut.