By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky climbed to No. 4 in the Associated Press college basketball poll — it’s highest spot since losing to Duke in the season-opening game — thanks to its 17-point win over then No. 1 Tennessee on Saturday.
Duke is the new No. 1 followed by Gonzaga and Virginia. Tennessee dropped to No. 5 behind Kentucky while LSU, which beat UK a week ago, climbed six spots to No. 13 — and will host Tennessee this Saturday.
Some Kentucky students and fans chanted “overrated” at the Vols in Rupp Arena, a chant that UK coach John Calipari did not like at all.
“Don’t really have a thought on the chant, but I think that Coach Cal – we respect our opponents. Coach Cal really respects Coach (Rick) Barnes and that program,” UK assistant coach Kenny Payne said Monday during his media opportunity to talk about Tuesday night’s game at Missouri.
“We’re Kentucky, we don’t have to do that. We don’t have to talk about a team being overrated. They do it to us, but we’re not going to do that to them. I thought it was a class act for Coach Cal to do that.”
Missouri is not ranked and will not be headed to postseason play. However, UK senior center Reid Travis doesn’t think it will be a problem for UK to get over the decisive win over Tennessee.
“I think it’s the same rule (as a loss), 24 hours. You learn from a loss, the same way from a win,” Travis said. “You obviously feel good about it and enjoy it that night, but we were back in here Sunday preparing for the next game right after. (We’re) trying to get better as a team, looking at the ways we could have played a lot better in the game on Saturday.
“So, just understanding that it’s just one game. You’ve still got to keep on going. We still have some more conference games to play and our ultimate goal is towards next month. Just understanding that this is one game at a time.”