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Arizona basketball drops to No. 15 in AP Poll after loss to Baylor

Arizona forward Zeke Nnaji (22) and center Chase Jeter (4) embrace in the closing seconds in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Baylor in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

Arizona basketball’s (9-1) visit to then-No. 18 Baylor over the weekend resulted in a 63-58 loss, meaning the Wildcats fell from No. 12 to No. 15 in the latest Associated Press college basketball Top 25 Poll on Monday.

Baylor moved up from No. 18 to No. 11 after the win.

The previously undefeated Arizona basketball’s 58 points against Baylor were the fewest it had scored in any game this season. That was also Arizona’s first game against a ranked opponent this year. Up next for the Wildcats is unranked Nebraska Omaha on Wednesday, followed by No. 6 Gonzaga on Saturday.

Elsewhere in the ranking: Louisville and Kansas finally provided some consistency to what has been a volatile Top 25 poll this season, while perennial bluebloods Michigan State and North Carolina continued to tumble after another wave of defeats.

The Cardinals solidified their place at No. 1 in the AP Top 25 released Monday by routing then-No. 4 Michigan in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge and breezing past Pittsburgh over the past week. The Jayhawks stayed at No. 2 after returning from their Maui Invitational title to thump former Big 12 member Colorado.

“I think it’s two games in a row, where we got stops,” Louisville coach Chris Mack said. “We didn’t allow second shots. We ran the clock on offense. We got great looks. We got layups, and that’s a killer.”

Ohio State jumped from sixth to third following its 74-49 rout of then-No. 7 North Carolina and a Big Ten blowout of Penn State. Maryland dropped one spot to fourth despite continuing to pile up wins, while Michigan slid one spot to round out the top five after Juwan Howard’s bunch ran into the Louisville buzzsaw for their first loss of the season.

The Spartans continued their fall from preseason No. 1 after losing to Duke, this time dropping from 11th to No. 16. The Tar Heels tumbled 10 spots to No. 17 after getting crushed by Ohio State and losing to No. 9 Virginia.

San Diego State joined the rankings at No. 25.

Here’s the full AP Top 25 as of Dec. 9, 2019:

1. Louisville

2. Kansas

3. Ohio State

4. Maryland

5. Michigan

6. Gonzaga

7. Duke

8. Kentucky

9. Virginia

10. Oregon

11. Baylor

12. Auburn

13. Memphis

14. Dayton

15. Arizona

16. Michigan State

17. North Carolina

18. Butler

19. Tennessee

20. Villanova

21. Florida State

22. Seton Hall

23. Xavier

24. Colorado

25. San Diego State

The Associated Press contributed to this story.


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