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Vols take new No. 1 ranking to Vandy

(AP Photo/Shawn Millsaps)

Tennessee puts its fresh No. 1 ranking on the line as the Vols head three hours west to take on arch-rival Vanderbilt in a matchup Wednesday in Nashville.

The Vols, (16-1, 5-0 Southeastern Conference) ranked No. 1 for just the second time in school history, received 48 of a possible 64 votes in the Associated Press Top 25. Tennessee rides a 12-game winning streak, its only loss coming in overtime to Kansas on Nov. 23.

Tennessee is a 12-point favorite according to Ken Pomeroy. It faces a Vanderbilt team (9-8, 0-5 SEC) that's dropped its first five SEC games, including Saturday's 71-55 home loss to then-No. 24 Mississippi State.


No. 7 Nevada seeks 19th win in 20 games

Nevada is ranked No. 7 in the nation but coach Eric Musselman isn't ignoring the club's warts.

Outside shooting has been a bit of a worry for the Wolf Pack.


No. 17 Houston looking to move to 19-1

The No. 17 Houston Cougars return home Wednesday night for their first game in the Fertitta Center in nearly two weeks against the young and reeling East Carolina Pirates.

The heavily favored Cougars, however, will have to contend with Jayden Gardner, the American Athletic Conference scoring leader.


No. 19 Iowa seeks payback vs. No. 6 MSU

No matchup engendered skepticism of Iowa quite like its 90-68 loss at Michigan State in early December.

The Hawkeyes collapsed late in the first half, allowing the Spartans to reel off a staggering 40-11 run in a drubbing that felt like so many of the ones Iowa suffered through a year ago. The 19th-ranked Hawkeyes have looked like a different team of late - and they'd like nothing more than to prove it when they host the sixth-ranked Spartans (17-2, 8-0) on Thursday night.


PG Cunningham sparks Louisville's rise

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Christen Cunningham's sole focus a year ago was recovering from illness and salvaging what remained of his senior season at Samford.

Playing at Louisville or anywhere in the Atlantic Coast Conference never crossed his mind, which makes his current situation all the more satisfying.


Miami PG Lykes 'crazy, but crazy good'

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) Usually the shortest man on the court, 5-foot-7 Chris Lykes is an unorthodox, unpredictable player for the Miami Hurricanes. Risky passes, lots of dribbling, ill-advised shots and so-so defense are part of his game.

So are improbable baskets.


Williamson stars as No. 2 Duke tops Pitt

PITTSBURGH (AP) There are plenty of words Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski can use to describe his star-laden roster. Nervous is not one of them.

"My guys are not nervous," Krzyzewski said. "I'm nervous. But they are not. They love crowds. They love to compete."


No. 8 Kentucky stays hot, tops Miss. St.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) Kentucky's defense wasn't perfect against Mississippi State, just quick enough to disrupt the No. 22 Bulldogs' rhythm and cause its worst offensive performance this season.

The No. 8 Wildcats now aim to keep it going after clearing the second of three big challenges.


No. 5 Michigan edges Minnesota at buzzer

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) The ball bounced right to Charles Matthews, who dribbled once and squared up to shoot as the game clock - and more importantly, the shot clock - neared zero.

"I saw the clock when I did get the ball. I'm not sure exactly how much time, but I did know that there was time on the clock," Matthews said. "So I didn't want to just throw up a crazy shot. I wanted to still follow through with it."


K-State extends No. 14 Texas Tech's skid

MANHATTAN, Kansas (AP) Kansas State and Texas Tech have two of the four highest-rated defenses in the country. They didn't disappoint Tuesday night.

In a preview of the tough test that awaits Big 12 opponents, the Wildcats ground down the 14th-ranked Red Raiders 58-45 on Tuesday night. Kansas State held Tech to a season low in points and hasn't allowed a team to score more than 71 this season.

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