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Tennessee retains No. 1 spot in USA TODAY Sports men's basketball coaches poll

Eddie Timanus

Tennessee will spend a fourth consecutive week on top of the USA TODAY Sports men’s basketball coaches poll. If the Volunteers want to stay No. 1 for a fifth week, however, they’re going to have to earn it.

Tennessee ran its winning streak to 18 games and received 30 of 32 first-place votes to maintain the top position ahead of second-ranked Duke. But after a mid-week date with South Carolina, the Vols head to No. 5 Kentucky for a massive SEC showdown on Saturday. The Wildcats have rattled off 10 wins in succession themselves after dropping their conference opener to Alabama.

Tennessee guard Admiral Schofield dunks the ball during his team's game against Florida.

The Blue Devils, meanwhile, completed a regular-season sweep of Virginia to retain the No. 2 spot, garnering the remaining two first-places votes. The Cavaliers, whose only two losses have come at the hands of Duke, fall one spot to fourth behind No. 3 Gonzaga.

TOP 25:The complete USA TODAY Sports men's basketball poll

Nevada retains the No. 6 position, though the Wolf Pack are just two poll points ahead of No. 7 Michigan this week. North Carolina, Houston and Marquette round out the top 10, with No. 11 Purdue closing fast after a four-position gain.

No. 18 Kansas State and No. 25 Maryland rejoin the Top 25, replacing Mississippi State and Cincinnati.