ATHENS — The University of Georgia basketball team is breathing some rarified air these days.
A home victory over 10th-ranked Kentucky, boosting their overall record to 12-2, has vaulted the Bulldogs into the weekly Associated Press Top 25 poll for the first time in almost eight years.
Georgia checks in at No. 24 in the poll with 145 points, just ahead of No. 25 Cincinnati. Not since March 10, 2003 has a Georgia team been ranked nationally, when that Bulldog team was 21st in the final regular-season poll. The 2003 Georgia squad spent the entire SEC schedule in the Top 25, reaching as high as 15th.
“I think that it (being ranked) is great recognition for our program and it’s great for our fans,” Georgia coach Mark Fox said. “I don’t know that it makes a whole lot of difference to our team, though. We still have a lot of tough games to play.”
This latest ranking marks the 15th season in which Georgia has ever been among the nationally-ranked teams. The program’s highest-ever ranking was achieved in the poll of Dec. 11, 1990, when the Bulldogs were ranked 11th.
The Bulldogs have won an SEC-best nine straight games, the longest win streak for the program since the Final Four-bound team of 1983 started its season with a 9-0 mark. No Georgia team since the 1947-48 season has won 10 games consecutively.
Georgia resumes its season Wednesday night at Vanderbilt in an 8:00 p.m. tipoff.