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LSU coach Will Wade argues a referee’s call in the first half of LSU's 95-60 win over Lipscomb Wednesday in LSU's Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

After bouncing back from its first loss of the season with a pair of wins over teams ranked ahead of them in the polls, the LSU basketball team was rewarded for its big week Monday.

Will Wade's team, which dropped five spots to 21st a week ago following a setback to Auburn, climbed all the way back to No. 12 in the Associated Press poll released Monday morning.

After falling from the ranks of the unbeaten at Auburn, LSU bounced then-No. 16 Kentucky on Tuesday and then-No. 18 Tennessee on Saturday to make a big jump in the AP's poll of 61 writers and broadcasters.

The Ferris Mowers coaches' poll agreed, putting LSU (14-1, 2-1 Southeastern Conference) in the No. 12 slot after the Tigers' impressive week.

The nine-spot jump for LSU in the AP rankings is the biggest one-week improvement for the program since the 1999-2000 season when the Tigers went from No. 25 on Feb. 7 to No. 16 on Feb. 14.

Kentucky, which crushed Georgia on Saturday night, fell to No. 18 in the AP poll and Tennessee, which slipped by Ole Miss in overtime Wednesday night, also dropped to No. 22.

It's the sixth consecutive week that LSU has been inside the AP's Top 25.

The Tigers debuted in the rankings at No. 25 on Dec. 6 and were 19th, 17th, 16th and 21st the past four weeks.

The SEC again has five teams in the polls with Auburn ranking fourth, up from No. 9 a week ago, and LSU 12th in both.

Joining them are Kentucky (No. 18 AP/No. 17 coaches), Tennessee (No. 22 AP/No. 23 coaches) and Alabama (No. 24 AP/No. 25 coaches).

AP Top 25

(first-place votes in parentheses)

Rank Team Record Points

1. Baylor 15-0 (61) 1,525

2. Gonzaga 12-2 1,440

3. UCLA 10-1 1,376

4. Auburn 14-1 1,193

5. Southern Cal 13-0 1,152

6. Arizona 12-1 1,144

7. Purdue 13-2 1,139

8. Duke 12-2 1,130

9. Kansas 12-2 1,031

10. Michigan State 13-2 1,011

11. Houston 14-2 949

12. LSU 14-1 889

13. Wisconsin 13-2 784

14. Villanova 11-4 682

15. Iowa State 13-2 648

16. Ohio State 10-3 510

17. Xavier 12-2 453

18. Kentucky 12-3 438

19. Texas Tech 11-3 373

20. Seton Hall 11-3 342

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21. Texas 12-3 282

22. Tennessee 10-4 277

23. Providence 14-2 250

24. Alabama 11-4 237

25. Illinois 11-3 208

Others receiving votes: Oklahoma 122, Loyola Chicago 96, Miami 65, West Virginia 20, UConn 17, Indiana 12, Colorado State 10, San Diego State 9, Davidson 5, San Francisco 2, Iowa 2, BYU 2.

Ferris Mowers Coaches Poll

(first-place votes in parentheses)

Rank Team Record Points

1. Baylor 15-0 (32) 800

2. Gonzaga 12-2 735

3. UCLA 10-1 702

4. Auburn 14-1 615

5. Purdue 13-2 606

6. Arizona 12-1 601

7. Southern Cal 13-0 595

8. Duke 12-2 590

9. Michigan State 13-2 558

10. Kansas 12-2 553

11. Houston 14-2 431

12. LSU 14-1 399

13. Wisconsin 13-2 391

14. Villanova 11-4 380

15. Ohio State 10-3 312

16. Iowa State 13-2 305

17. Kentucky 12-3 272

18. Seton Hall 11-3 219

19. Texas Tech 11-3 210

20. Providence 14-2 191

21. Xavier 12-2 190

22. Texas 12-3 154

23. Tennessee 10-4 131

24. Illinois 11-3 108

25. Alabama 11-4 105

Others receiving votes: Miami 75, Colorado State 64, Oklahoma 39, Loyola Chicago 34, UConn 13, Indiana 6, Davidson 6, BYU 5, West Virginia 4, Belmont 1.

Email Sheldon Mickles at smickles@theadvocate.com