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Arizona basketball free-falls in AP Poll following loss to Butler

Arizona's Kobi Simmons reacts after he was called for a foul against Santa Clara during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Arizona plummeted eight spots to No. 16 in the freshly released AP Poll and six to No. 15 in the USA Today Poll after the Wildcats’ 69-65 loss to the Butler Bulldogs on Friday.

Star freshman forward Lauri Markkanen led Arizona with 15 points and fellow freshman guard Kobi Simmons contributed 14 off the bench in the losing effort.

Butler improved to 6-0 on the year, as junior forward Kelan Martin led all scorers with 16 points on 53.8 percent shooting from the field. The Bulldogs were unranked going into their matchup with the Wildcats, but after the victory, they moved up to No. 18 in the AP Poll.

Arizona’s resume lost some glimmer as well. Their season opening two-point win over then-No.12 Michigan State doesn’t look as impressive since the Spartans have started the season 4-3 and have fallen completely out of the top-25. The Wildcats get back to work on Wednesday against Texas Southern at McKale Center in Tucson. Arizona will have a chance to prove their mettle in the following game though, as they go up against No. 8 Gonzaga on Dec. 3 in Los Angeles.

In the top-10, Indiana, Arizona and Louisville fell out while Creighton, Baylor and Gonzaga got in. Baylor made the biggest leap, as they jumped 11 spots ahead of where they were last week. Kentucky and Villanova still remain as the top two teams in the nation, respectively.

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