No. 2 Auburn gets showdown with No. 12 Kentucky

Auburn has steadily moved up the rankings this season, climbing from No. 22 in the preseason to No. 2 in this week’s AP Top 25.

Coach Bruce Pearl believes the Tigers, with their quality wins and strength of schedule, should be even higher.

”We should be No. 1 based on our resume,” Pearl said on Monday. ”But that doesn’t mean we’re the best team in the country, and I’m not saying that. I think we’re one of the top 20 teams in the country.”

They certainly are.

Picked to finish fifth in the Southeastern Conference, Auburn (16-1, 5-0 SEC) has rolled through most of its schedule, going 10-1 in Quad 2 or higher games and 5-0 on the road. The Tigers’ lone hiccup was a double-overtime loss to UConn in the Bahamas, but have since reeled off 13 straight wins.

Auburn moved into the top 10 two weeks ago, was No. 4 last week and climbed two spots this week after beating Alabama and Ole Miss.

The Tigers had 36 first-place votes to top-ranked Gonzaga’s 25 in the poll released Monday, but the Zags had a slight edge in overall points.

Auburn gets a chance to add to its resume this week.

The Tigers kick off the week Wednesday against Georgia, a team that’s struggled but has given them trouble in the past. Next up is No. 12 Kentucky Saturday at home.

The Wildcats appear to be rounding into form as they usually do under coach John Calipari and are coming off two lopsided wins, over Norther Carolina and Western Kentucky.

”We’re one of the top five or six teams in our league,” Pearl said. ”As far as where we wind up, that’s where we wind up. That’s how you play the season. So, we’ve just got to continue to do the things that we’re doing and know we’ve got to get better if we’re going to continue to win.”


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