North Carolina's loss was Kentucky's gain -- at least for a week.
The Wildcats were voted the overwhelming No. 1 in the ESPN/USA Today Top 25 coaches' poll after the Tar Heels lost Saturday to unranked UNLV.
UNC, which dropped to fifth Monday, will get a chance to knock off Kentucky on Saturday, assuming the Wildcats can get by St. John's on Thursday.
Undefeated clubs Ohio State, Syracuse and Duke rounded out the top five. The Buckeyes drew eight of the 31 first-place votes, with the Orange also garnering one.
Ohio State hosts Duke on Tuesday (ESPN, 9:30 p.m. ET).
In The Associated Press media poll, Kentucky returned to No. 1 for the first time since the 2009-10 season.
Missouri was the biggest mover in the coaches' poll, vaulting eight spots to No. 13 after a 92-53 win over California. The Golden Bears dropped five places to 23rd.
Connecticut barely held on to a top-10 claim, falling six slots from No. 4 after its first loss of the season to Central Florida.
The Huskies followed Louisville, Wisconsin, Baylor and Florida, which visits No. 5 Syracuse on Friday (ESPN, 7 p.m. ET).
No. 20 UNLV joined Mississippi State, at 24th, and Saint Louis at 25th as teams to enter the poll for the first time this season.