ARIZONA BASKETBALL

AP Poll: Arizona basketball steals a No. 1 vote from Baylor

Dec 20, 2021, 10:50 AM | Updated: 12:35 pm
Guard Kerr Kriisa #25 of the Arizona Wildcats roars during the first half of the NCAAB game against...
Guard Kerr Kriisa #25 of the Arizona Wildcats roars during the first half of the NCAAB game against the California Baptist Lancers at McKale Center on December 18, 2021 in Tucson, Arizona. (Photo by Rebecca Noble/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rebecca Noble/Getty Images)

Defending national champion Baylor maintained its top spot in The Associated Press men’s college basketball poll, though not without ceding a No. 1 vote to Arizona, while the six remaining unbeatens continued their rise on Monday.

The Bears ended a four-week streak of turnover atop the poll by taking care of Oregon last week, receiving 60 of 61 first-place votes from a national panel that regular covers college basketball. The Wildcats got the only other No. 1 vote and climbed two spots to sixth heading into a brutal stretch of games over the next three weeks.

Duke remained No. 2 after ending a two-week break with three easy wins. Purdue was third while Gonzaga and UCLA flip-flopped their spots with the Bruins — currently in the midst of a COVID-19 pause — rounding out the top five.

The Bears (10-0) reached the top spot last week after dominating then-No. 6 Villanova, something they never accomplished during their title-winning season. But they nearly became the fourth straight No. 1 to lose, falling behind the Ducks by four at halftime before rallying for a 78-70 victory in Eugene, Oregon.

“This was really our first road game in two years. Last year everyone had limited crowds,” said Baylor coach Scott Drew, who picked up his 400th career win. “People want to know how important crowds are; we’re the first No. 1 to win on the road.”

The Wildcats (11-0), who cruised past Cal Baptist, will have a chance to prove they deserve their No. 1 vote. They head to No. 19 Tennessee on Wednesday, then visit the Bruins on Dec. 30 and No. 8 Southern California on Jan. 2.

Throw in a trip to Arizona State on Jan. 8 and the Wildcats won’t play a home game for 24 days.

“I didn’t even know that, to be honest,” Arizona coach Tommy Lloyd said. “I always tell you guys, Tennessee on Wednesday and then Christmas. We have an awesome opportunity on Wednesday. We’ve had a really strong start. I played at Tennessee and it’s a monster, and it’s a great opportunity for us to go in there and test ourselves.”

The Wildcats were followed by seventh-ranked Kansas and two more unbeatens in the Trojans (12-0) and Iowa State (11-0), both of which moved up two spots. Alabama fell four spots after its loss to Memphis and rounded out the top 10.

Others receiving votesOklahoma 65, West Virginia 57, UConn 55, Illinois 49, Loyola Chicago 42, Michigan 9, Arkansas 9, BYU 8, North Carolina 7, San Francisco 6, Wake Forest 5, Virginia Tech 4, Oklahoma State 4, Iowa 3, Minnesota 3, Creighton 2, Memphis 1

Dropped from rankingsUConn 20, Arkansas 24

Arizona Basketball

Arizona guard Dalen Terry (4) drives to the basket against Stanford forward Brandon Angel (23) duri...
Arizona Sports

Arizona Wildcats jump to No. 1 in NET rankings after 4th straight win

The Arizona Wildcats jumped Gonzaga into the No. 1 spot on the NET rankings after defeating Stanford on Thursday 85-57.
1 day ago
Arizona forward Azuolas Tubelis (10) drives against California Baptist guard Chance Hunter during t...
Associated Press

Azoulas Tubelis leaves due to injury in Arizona’s win over Stanford

The Arizona Wildcats beat Stanford by nearly 30 points but lost forward Azuolas Tubelis for the game due to an ankle injury.
2 days ago
Arizona Wildcats guard Kerr Kriisa (25) reacts after being called for a technical foul during a gam...
Arizona Sports

Arizona basketball rises to No. 3 in latest AP rankings

The Arizona Wildcats are now the top ranked team in the Pac-12 after rising to No. 3 in the latest AP men's college basketball rankings.
5 days ago
Arizona guard Pelle Larsson, center, is squeezed between Utah guards Lazar Stefanovic, left, and Ma...
Associated Press

Tubelis scores career-high 32 points as No. 6 Arizona rolls to win over Utah

Azoulas Tubelis scored 32 points, Christian Koloko added 16 points, and No. 6 Arizona dominated Utah inside for a win on Saturday night.
7 days ago
Arizona guard Bennedict Mathurin (0) throws up a three sign after hitting a long range shot during ...
Associated Press

4 Wildcats score in double figures as No. 6 Arizona ousts Colorado

Azuolas Tubelis and Justin Kier scored 14 points, and No. 6 Arizona overwhelmed Colorado in the second half for a 76-55 win Thursday night.
8 days ago
Head coach Bobby Hurley of the Arizona State Sun Devils reacts against the Syracuse Orange during t...
Jake Anderson

ASU, Arizona basketball reschedule postponed games due to COVID-19

The Arizona State men's basketball team has rescheduled two games that were postponed due to COVID-19, the school announced on Wednesday.
10 days ago
AP Poll: Arizona basketball steals a No. 1 vote from Baylor