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N.C. State, Tennessee agree to home and home series

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Tennessee has moved one step closer to finalizing its non-conference schedule for the upcoming season, as it was reported by Brendan F. Quinn of the Knoxville News Sentinel that the Volunteers have agreed to play a home-and-home series with N.C. State.

Cuonzo Martin’s Volunteers will host the first meeting during the 2013-14 season, with the return meeting being played during the 2014-15 season in Raleigh. Also on Tennessee’s non-conference schedule are Virginia (home), Wichita State (road) and Xavier (road).

The Volunteers will also participate in the Battle 4 Atlantis over Thanksgiving weekend. Joining Tennessee in what should be a solid in-season event are Kansas, Villanova, USC, Iowa, Xavier, Wake Forest and UTEP.

Tennessee (20-13, 11-7 SEC) missed out on the NCAA tournament last season, instead landing in the Postseason NIT where they lost at home to Mercer in the first round.

With guard Jordan McRae and forward Jarnell Stokes back, and the return of Jeronne Maymon after missing all of last season due to a knee injury, Tennessee can be one of the teams in the SEC that works its way into the NCAA tournament conversation.

Tennessee also adds Memphis transfer Antonio Barton at the point, and he should make them a better defensive team at the point of attack. While Trae Golden did manage to average 12.1 points and 3.9 assists per game last season, Barton is expected to be an upgrade from a defensive standpoint.

Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Iowa State’s starting center Jameel McKay remains suspended

Iowa State forward Jameel McKay celebrates on the court at the end of an NCAA college basketball game against Oklahoma, Monday, Jan. 18, 2016, in Ames, Iowa. Iowa State won 82-77. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
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Steve Prohm announced on Monday that starting center Jameel McKay will not be in the lineup on Wednesday when the Cyclones take on Texas Tech.

“He’ll practice today because I want him in practice,” Prohm said, “but game-wise, he’s suspended.”

McKay did not make the trip to Stillwater with the team on Saturday, where Iowa State beat Oklahoma State, 64-59. Prohm has not gotten into specifics regarding the cause of McKay’s suspension, but it’s reportedly an issue with the way he has been practicing. McKay is dealing with a nagging knee injury, which may play a role in the situation as well.

“My hope is he’ll be with us on Saturday,” Prohm said.

AP POLL: Villanova climbs to No. 1 in the country.

Jay Wright
(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
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Like the Coaches Poll, Villanova found themselves No. 1 in the AP Poll during the regular season for the first time in the history of the program.

And like the Coaches Poll, there isn’t much in the way of a consensus when it comes to who is the No. 1 team, as there are six teams that received No. 1 votes in the poll this week.

[NEW PODCAST]

[LATEST BRACKETOLOGY]

The biggest shock to me?

The No. 1 team in the NBC Sports Top 25, Iowa, received just 11 first place votes and is ranked fourth in the AP Poll.

They were ranked fifth in the Coaches Poll.

Can we get Fran McCaffery the love they deserve?

Here is the rest of the AP Poll:

1. Villanova (20-3, 32 first-place votes)
2. Maryland (21-3, 13)
3. Oklahoma (19-3, 7)
4. Iowa (19-4, 11)
5. Xavier (21-2)
6. Kansas (19-4, 1)
7. Virginia (19-4, 1)
8. Michigan State (20-4)
9. North Carolina (19-4)
10. West Virginia (19-4)
11. Oregon (18-4)
12. Miami (FL) (18-4)
13. Louisville (19-4)
14. Iowa State (17-6)
15. Texas A&M (18-5)
16. SMU (20-2)
17. Arizona (19-5)
18. Purdue (19-5)
19. Dayton (19-3)
20. Providence (18-6)
21. Baylor (17-6)
22. Kentucky (17-6)
23. USC (18-5)
24. Texas (16-7)
25. Wichita State (17-6)

DROPPED OUT: No. 22 Indiana, No. 25 South Carolina
NEW ADDITIONS: No. 23 USC, No. 24 Texas