No. 24 Sooners get 2 top-10 tests after return to AP Top 25

Lon Kruger has seen his Oklahoma team play its way to the program’s first ranking in The Associated Press men’s college basketball poll in two years.

The Big 12 has a national-best five of the top 20 teams in KenPom’s adjusted defensive efficiency metrics — led by Baylor allowing 86.9 points per 100 possessions — and Oklahoma’s current stretch includes all five.

Alabama made the biggest jump in Monday’s latest poll, climbing nine spots to earn the program’s highest ranking since last cracking the top 10 in January 2007.

Coach Nate Oats said Monday that his players “deserve to be ranked in the top 10” with the way they’ve been playing, as well as their chemistry and leadership.

The Zags, who earned 61 of 64 first-place votes in Monday’s poll, have road games at San Diego on Thursday and Pepperdine on Saturday in West Coast Conference play.

The Bears, who earned the other three votes, host Kansas State on Wednesday, followed by Auburn on Saturday in the Big 12/SEC Challenge.

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