Arizona Wildcats slip in AP basketball poll following loss to Tennessee

Dec 27, 2021, 10:35 AM | Updated: 10:37 am
Arizona guard Bennedict Mathurin (0) drives as Tennessee forward John Fulkerson (10) and guard Kenn...

Arizona guard Bennedict Mathurin (0) drives as Tennessee forward John Fulkerson (10) and guard Kennedy Chandler (1) defends during an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2021, in Knoxville, Tenn. Tennessee won 77-73. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

(AP Photo/Wade Payne)

Suffering the first loss of their season wasn’t enough to knock the Arizona Wildcats out of the top-10 in The Associated Press’ final men’s basketball poll of this calendar year.

Arizona fell three spots, to ninth in the nation, after a loss to a then-19th ranked Tennessee Volunteers team last week.

The Wildcats were No. 6 last week with an 11-0 record, and the team even garnered a single first-place vote. A 77-73 loss to now-No. 14 Tennessee on Wednesday was the first trip-up of the season.

That game was expected to be a part of a daunting road schedule crossing over into the new year, but the Wildcats had road games against No. 5 UCLA and No. 7 USC set for Thursday and Sunday this week postponed due to COVID-19 issues for each of the opponents.

The Wildcats now are expected to return to play on Monday, with a rescheduled game against the Washington Huskies. That game initially was set for Dec. 2 but was postponed due to UW coronavirus cases. It was rescheduled to Jan. 25 before moving up three weeks upon Arizona’s games in Los Angeles getting pushed.

Atop the AP poll, Baylor remained No. 1 for the third straight week, receiving all 61 first-place votes from a national media panel. The Bears (11-0) had 60 first-place votes a week ago and were a unanimous selection this week with a blowout win over Alcorn State and Arizona’s loss to Tennessee.

The top five remained the same from last week, with Duke, Purdue, Gonzaga and UCLA behind Baylor.

The AP contributed to this story.

AP men’s basketball rankings

Team Record Pts Prv
1. Baylor (61) 11-0 1525 1
2. Duke 11-1 1448 2
3. Purdue 11-1 1371 3
4. Gonzaga 10-2 1335 4
5. UCLA 8-1 1296 5
6. Kansas 9-1 1233 7
7. Southern Cal 12-0 994 8
8. Iowa St. 12-0 985 9
9. Arizona 11-1 973 6
10. Michigan St. 10-2 901 11
11. Auburn 11-1 826 12
12. Houston 11-3 801 13
13. Ohio St. 8-2 787 14
14. Tennessee 9-2 729 19
15. Seton Hall 9-1 716 15
16. LSU 12-0 609 17
17. Texas 9-2 567 16
18. Kentucky 9-2 459 20
19. Alabama 9-3 426 10
20. Colorado St. 10-0 366 21
21. Providence 11-1 315 22
22. Villanova 8-4 312 23
23. Xavier 11-2 237 18
24. Wisconsin 9-2 207 24
25. Texas Tech 9-2 121 25

Others receiving votes: Illinois 72, Oklahoma 62, West Virginia 52, Loyola Chicago 39, UConn 34, Michigan 7, Colorado 5, San Francisco 4, Wake Forest 4, Iowa 2, Davidson 2, Minnesota 1, Creighton 1, Memphis 1.

Penguin Air

Arizona Basketball

Head coach Bobby Hurley of the Arizona State Sun Devils looks on during the second half against the...
Arizona Sports

ASU, Arizona men’s basketball reveal schedules for 2022-23 season

The Arizona State Sun Devils and Arizona Wildcats men's basketball teams have revealed their respective schedules for the 2022-23 season.
21 hours ago
(Arizona MBB screenshot)...
Wills Rice

Arizona Wildcats to don retro 1988 style uniforms next season

The Arizona Wildcats announced the team will wear the classic home white and road blue uniforms in a nod to the 1988 team next season.
2 days ago
Finland's Lauri Markkanen gestures during the Eurobasket group D basketball match between Finland a...
Associated Press

UA product Lauri Markkanen drops 43; bests Suns’ Dario Saric, Croatia

Lauri Markkanen scored 43 points against Croatia, and Finland is now assured of its best EuroBasket result in 55 years.
19 days ago
Aari McDonald #2 of the Arizona Wildcats celebrates with teammates after defeating the UConn Huskie...
Associated Press

Former Wildcats standout Aari McDonald returning to Arizona in coaching role

Atlanta Dream guard Aari McDonald is returning to the University of Arizona to work under coach Adia Barnes.
21 days ago
Northern Arizona head coach Shane Burcar directs his team during the second half of an NCAA college...
Associated Press

NAU basketball hopes continuity, new facilities lead to step forward

Northern Arizona's new performance center, which opened in April, could be the missing piece Burcar needs to get NAU back on the right track.
24 days ago
Arizona Wildcats slip in AP basketball poll following loss to Tennessee