Bulldogs move up to No. 14 in AP basketball poll

Published 8:00 am Tuesday, January 8, 2019

STARKVILLE — Mississippi State’s men’s basketball team checked another box during its best season in years.

The Bulldogs climbed to a season-high No. 14 national ranking in both the Associated Press and USA Today/Coaches Top 25 polls released Monday.

It’s the highest ranking for the Bulldogs since being ranked No. 11 on Jan. 11, 2005 in the AP Top 25, and the program’s best going back to Dec. 26, 2011 when MSU also checked in at No. 14 among the USA/Today Coaches Top 25.

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Mississippi State is one of four Southeastern Conference teams ranked in this week’s edition of the polls which include Tennessee (No. 3 AP, No. 3 USA Today), Auburn (No. 11 AP, No. 10 USA Today) and Kentucky (No. 18 AP, No. 18 USA Today).

Mississippi State (12-1) opens SEC play Tuesday night at 8 at South Carolina. The game will be televised on ESPNU.

The top four in The Associated Press poll remained unchanged for the third straight week.
Duke remained at No. 1, receiving 37 of 64 first-place votes. No. 2 Michigan received nine first-place votes, No. 3 Tennessee 13 and No. 4 Virginia five.

No. 5 Gonzaga and No. 6 Michigan State each moved up two spots. No. 7 Kansas dropped two spots after losing 77-60 to Iowa State, which moved back into the poll at No. 20.

No. 8 Texas Tech and No. 9 Virginia Tech each moved up after Nevada lost 85-58 on the road to New Mexico and fell four places to No. 10. Florida State dropped four spots to No. 13 after being shut down by Virginia.

In all, every team outside the top four changed positions except No. 23 Oklahoma, which split its games last week.

The number of undefeated teams is down to three — Michigan (15-0), Virginia (13-0) and No. 17 Houston (15-0).