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Tennessee falls in AP Poll after shorthanded loss to Alabama

NCAA Basketball: Tennessee at Alabama Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Tennessee predictably fell in this week’s AP poll despite a fantastic showing last week in Tuscaloosa. The Volunteers took the loss, but led virtually the entire game despite not having Kennedy Chandler and John Fulkerson available. Santiago Vescovi, Olivier Nkamhoua and Zakai Zeigler each gave outstanding efforts just to keep Tennessee competitive.

Still, AP voters dropped Tennessee dropped from 14th to 18th. Alabama climbed from 19th to 15th.

Look, I love polls. I don’t know why. Something about the number beside your name means something to me — maybe it comes from the past decade of being unranked in football. Do the pollsters here really know that Tennessee was without Fulkerson and Chandler? It’s worth wondering, considering someone mistakenly ranked Georgia inside of the top five this week instead of Gonzaga.

Grand scheme, these polls don’t matter at all. What the committee thinks of you is all that actually does, and that in itself is going to be a challenge this season with all the of modified COVID games. I’ll be fascinated to see how much the committee actually does pay attention to who was and who wasn’t available for certain wins and losses, and if that actually does carry any weight come March. This is all setting up to be an unbelievably complex selection process.

Anyways, long story short, Tennessee didn’t deserve to drop four spots. Does it matter? No it doesn’t. I do realize I’m irrationally worked up over this, so I’ll move on.

No change at the top this week, despite Georgia’s top five vote. Baylor-Duke-Purdue-Gonzaga-UCLA remain as your top five. Auburn entered the top ten after an impressive win over LSU, while Kentucky jumped past Tennessee to No. 16. LSU, Tennessee’s Saturday opponent, fell to No. 21.

Latest AP Top 25 Poll

1. Baylor

2. Duke

3. Purdue

4. Gonzaga


6. Kansas

7. USC

8. Arizona

9. Auburn

10. Michigan State

11. Iowa State

12. Houston

13. Ohio State

14. Texas

15. Alabama

T16. Providence

T16. Kentucky

18. Tennessee

19. Villanova

20. Colorado State

21. LSU

22. Xavier

23. Wisconsin

24. Seton Hall

25. Texas Tech