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For the second time in school history, Tennessee basketball is the No. 1 ranked team in the nation


NCAA Basketball: Arkansas at Tennessee Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Everything that needed to happen for Tennessee to rise to the No. 1 spot in the AP Poll, happened. Duke, Michigan and Virginia lost this week, making the Vols the obvious choice to rise to the top spot. It took everything Tennessee had to get past Alabama, but they found a way in the end.

Tennessee earned 48 of 64 possible first place votes in the AP Poll.

It’s the second time in program history that Tennessee has captured the No. 1 ranking. Bruce Pearl’s 2007-2008 team took the top spot after beating Memphis, but quickly lost to Vanderbilt just days later. The Vols have a chance for some therapy on Wednesday in Nashville.

Duke, Virginia, Gonzaga and Michigan rounded out the new top five.

Looking ahead...

A home game against West Virginia will follow that trip to Nashville before two more SEC road games (South Carolina and Texas A&M) next week. For what it’s worth, Tennessee’s SEC schedule is pretty backloaded. They don’t get Kentucky until February 16th, then they’ll get the Wildcats again on March 2nd. Road trips to LSU, Ole Miss and Auburn round out a really tough final three weeks of the year.

Tennessee’s rankings around the web and other metrics

Sports Illustrated: 1st

ESPN: 1st

CBS: 1st

Team Rankings: 5th

KenPom: 5th