Playing at Memorial Gym means dealing with the unique layout with the benches on the end lines. Even though Vanderbilt is playing short-handed with only seven scholarship players and even used a couple walk-ons, the Gators with their new ranking will be tested quickly.
Florida senior forward Will Yeguete thinks the Gators will handle the challenge well.
“Our lives aren’t really changing,” Yeguete said. “We’re No. 1. That’s a really good accomplishment, especially for us being No. 1. But I think Coach D will use that to motivate us. We’ve been No. 2 before. We know what it is to be ranked really high. We know you just take one game at a time.”
Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall told The Associated Press that being ranked No. 2 means the Shockers are being recognized for an outstanding season so far, and they plan to keep pushing to see how high they can go.
“Florida is an outstanding team,” Marshall said. “I’ve watched them, I really think they’re good, there’s a lot of good teams out there. But I just think this continues to be a carrot for our team. It continues to be a goal and it’s a very lofty goal, and it’s something to strive for.”
Kansas jumped three places to fifth and was followed by Duke, Louisville, Villanova, Creighton and Saint Louis.
Syracuse, which was No. 1 the past three weeks, lost to Boston College and Duke last week, the Orange’s first losses of the season.
North Carolina, SMU and New Mexico all returned to the Top 25 this week replacing Connecticut, UCLA and Gonzaga.