AP Poll Top 25: Arizona back in, ASU receives vote for 1st time this season
Both Arizona State and Arizona received love by voters in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll after both teams swept Cal and Stanford last week.
Arizona’s two wins vaulted the Wildcats back into the Top 25 with 102 points, good for the No. 24 spot in the rankings.
Arizona State received one vote in the Week 16 poll, its first time this season being recognized by the AP Top 25.
ASU is riding a five-game win streak in Pac-12 play, matching their season-best win streak when they won five non-conference games in a row from Nov. 26 to Dec. 14.
Oregon and Colorado also represented the Pac-12 in the poll. Oregon up-ended Colorado on Thursday in Eugene, vaulting Oregon to No. 14 and dropping Colorado to No. 18 in the latest poll.
Both teams sit atop the Pac-12 conference standings at 9-4, while both Arizona schools are right behind at 8-4.
Oregon tips off against both Arizona schools this week beginning in Tempe with ASU on Thursday and following up in Tucson against Arizona on Saturday.
Colorado takes on USC and UCLA this week at home.
IN AND OUT
BYU climbed into the poll at No. 23 after wins over Loyola Marymount and San Diego, and now faces Santa Clara on Thursday night before a showdown with the second-ranked Zags. The Cougars were followed by Arizona at No. 24 and Ohio State at No. 25, two teams that were in the poll earlier this season before dropping out.
Illinois plummeted out of the poll after losing to Michigan State and Rutgers. Texas Tech also dropped out along with LSU, which lost at Alabama during a brutal Saturday for the nation’s Top 25 teams.
CLIMBING AND FALLING
Creighton made the biggest leap this week, rising from No. 23 to 15th after beating then-No. 10 Seton Hall and DePaul. Penn State moved up four spots to crack the top 10 at No. 9, while Oregon climbed from No. 17 to 14 and Kentucky moved up two spots to round out the top 10.
Louisville’s weak week culminated in a drop of six places to No. 11, while Seton Hall also absorbed a pair of losses and fell to No. 16. West Virginia lost to Baylor and Kansas but was only penalized three places and remained No. 17.
There are some intriguing mid-major programs poised to enter the Top 25 if there’s another week of upsets. Stephen F. Austin quietly improved to 22-3 and is one of the first teams out, while Northern Iowa (22-4), Utah State (21-7) and Rhode Island (19-6) are getting plenty of love from voters as March begins to bear down on the college basketball season.
College basketball AP Top 25
|1. Baylor (48)||23-1||1559||1|
|2. Gonzaga (14)||26-1||1518||2|
|3. Kansas (1)||22-3||1434||3|
|4. San Diego St.||26-0||1404||4|
|8. Florida St.||21-4||1088||8|
|9. Penn St.||20-5||1024||13|
|16. Seton Hall||18-7||672||10|
|17. West Virginia||18-7||552||14|
|25. Ohio St.||17-8||95||—|
Others receiving votes: Texas Tech 92, Michigan St. 87, Michigan 83, LSU 55, Rhode Island 39, Virginia 32, Cincinnati 14, Stephen F. Austin 14, Illinois 12, N. Iowa 9, Utah St. 8, Florida 6, Rutgers 6, ETSU 5, Saint Mary’s (Cal) 4, Richmond 3, Tulsa 3, New Mexico St. 2, SMU 2, Arizona St 1, Wright St. 1.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.