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.

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