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The Southeastern Conference has moved to the head of the class as tournament time is dawning across the nation.
Tennessee (23-7, 14-4) jumped from No. 13 into the top 10 on Monday in the Associated Press men’s college basketball poll in a tie at No. 9 with Purdue (25-6, 14-6 Big Ten). The Volunteers defeated No. 14 Arkansas on Saturday to finish the regular season in a tie with Kentucky for second in the SEC.
Tennessee received the No. 2 seed for the SEC Tournament that begins Wednesday in Tampa, Florida. Arkansas (24-7, 13-5) dropped to No. 15.
Auburn (27-4, 15-3), which won the regular season title, jumped up a spot in the A.P. poll to No. 4. Kentucky (25-6, 14-4) moved up two spots to No. 5.
Gonzaga (24-3) remained No. 1 in the poll, followed by No. 2 Arizona (28-3), No. 3 Baylor (26-5), No. 6 Kansas (25-6), No. 7 Duke (26-5), which dropped three spots after a home loss to North Carolina in coach Mike Krzyzewski’s last home game as Duke’s coach, and No. 8 Villanova (23-7).
Providence is No. 11, followed by No. 12 Wisconsin, No. 13 UCLA, No. 14 Texas Tech, No. 15 Arkansas, No. 16 Illinois, No. 17 Saint Mary’s, No. 18 Houston, No. 19 Murray State, No. 20 Connecticut, No. 21 USC, No. 22 Texas, No. 23 Colorado State, No. 24 Iowa and No. 25 North Carolina.