A sensational week has propelled the LSU basketball team to its highest ranking in the last decade.
By virtue of road victories vs. No. 5 Kentucky and Georgia, LSU (21-4, 11-1) jumped six spots to No. 13 in this week’s Associated Press Top 25 poll. LSU also moved up from No. 21 to No. 15 in the USA Today coaches poll.
LSU is tied with No. 5 Tennessee atop the SEC standings. LSU is one of just three SEC teams in both the AP and coaches polls (No. 4 Kentucky, No. 5 Tennessee) this week.
This is LSU’s eighth appearances in the AP poll this season and they were previously ranked No. 19 on three separate occasions.
LSU made the largest climb of any team in either poll.
The Tigers are a Top-15 team‼️#BootUp 🐯
— LSU Basketball (@LSUBasketball) February 18, 2019
The last time LSU was ranked this high this late in the season was in 2009. That Tigers squad was ranked No. 12 on March 2, 2009 and captured an SEC regular season title.
This is LSU’s best start in SEC play since making the 1981 Final Four.
LSU is also in a class of its own right now in terms of combined athletic excellence.
As of yesterday, @LSUsports is the ONLY school in America with its football, men’s basketball, and baseball team currently ranked in the Top 15. @LSUfootball finished No. 6; @LSUBasketball No. 13 and No. 15; @LSUbaseball No. 1. #LSU #GeauxTigers
— Michael Bonnette (@LSUBonnette) February 19, 2019
LSU has a big week ahead as they host Florida on Feb. 20 and No. 5 Tennessee on Feb. 23 at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
LSU edged Kentucky 73-71 and Georgia 83-79 last week.
Kavell Bigby-Williams converted a tip-in at the buzzer to give LSU its sixth-ever victory in program history vs. Kentucky. LSU snapped Kentucky’s 17-game home winning streak.
LET’S GEAUX 😤
— LSU Basketball (@LSUBasketball) February 13, 2019
“To come on the road and beat a top-five team like this in this type of environment is phenomenal for us,” LSU coach Will Wade said to ESPN. “We knew we had a good team, and we wanted to prove it to ourselves in this type of environment; we were able to do that tonight.”
Tremont Waters (20) and Ja’vonte Smart (19) led the way in scoring for LSU in the victory at Georgia.
However, it’s been defense which has sparked LSU’s road warrior mentality and could carry them deep into the NCAA Tournament.
“Coach really told us to take rebounding and defense with us,” Smart said to ESPN. “You can’t really take offense on the road because it’s hard to get sometimes, but you can always take rebounding and defense. That’s a big part of our success.”