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Arizona moves up to No. 12 in final AP Poll before NCAA Tournament

(AP Photo/Isaac Brekken

After winning the Pac-12 Tournament and being named the fourth seed in the NCAA Tournament, the Arizona Wildcats jumped to No. 12 in the AP Poll’s college basketball rankings on Monday.

It’s the end of a steady climb over the last two weeks, in which they shot up from No. 19 to No. 15 before settling in at No. 12.

Arizona (27-7, 14-4 Pac-12) will play Buffalo on Thursday.

The Wildcats’ three-spot jump in the AP Poll is the third-largest of the week, behind only Kansas, which climbed five spots to No. 4, and Kentucky, which went from unranked to No. 18. West Virginia also climbed three spots.

Virginia continued its reign as the No. 1 team. After starting the season unranked, it finished as the unanimous best team in the country.

They’re a potential Sweet 16 matchup with Arizona. However, the Wildcats may also need to beat Kentucky in Round 2, barring upset.

Villanova and Xavier round out the top three.

Arizona State, which defeated both Kansas and Xavier during pre-conference play, went into a free fall once the Pac-12 schedule started. After rising as high as No. 3, the Sun Devils are unranked in the final AP Poll of the season.

If they manage to beat Syracuse on Wednesday and then upset TCU, ASU could face Michigan State in Round 2. The Spartans finished as the No. 5 team in AP’s final poll.

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