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NCAA Basketball Rankings: Florida Improves To No. 17

Florida's back on the upswing after victories against Georgia and South Carolina.

The Florida Gators (14-4) check in at No. 17 in the most recent AP Top 25 Poll, released Monday, a two-spot improvement over where they stood in the previous poll. Easy victories against the Georgia Bulldogs and South Carolina Gamecocks, along with some stumbles by teams formerly ahead of them, helped bump the Gators up.

The Syracuse Orange (19-0) lead the poll, coming in at No. 1 for the sixth straight week. The Kentucky Wildcats (17-1), Baylor Bears (17-0), Duke Blue Devils (15-2), and Missouri Tigers (16-1) round out the top five, in that order.

Among Southeastern Conference teams, Florida ranks second, trailing only Kentucky. The Mississippi St. Bulldogs (15-3) stand at No. 18, just one spot behind Florida. The Vanderbilt Commodores narrowly missed returning to the top 25, finishing with 101 voting points. The No. 25 Kansas St. Wildcats had 102.

Elsewhere in the state, the Florida St. Seminoles (11-6) aren't ranked following their 90-57 upset of the North Carolina Tar Heels (15-3) on Saturday, but the game did have ramifications for the top 25: UNC now ranks No. 8, its lowest spot in the AP poll since Feb. 28, 2011.

For more on the Gators, please visit Alligator Army, SB Nation's UF blog. For more on the Seminoles, please visit Tomahawk Nation, SB Nation's FSU blog.

Photographs by cstreet.us, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.