ARIZONA BASKETBALL

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

Jan 21, 2022, 11:57 AM | Updated: 2:21 pm

The Arizona Wildcats have the No.1 men’s basketball team in the country on Friday’s NET rankings.

Arizona was No.2 on the NCAA Evaluation Tool rankings last week, but it jumped Gonzaga after defeating Stanford on Thursday 85-57.

The Wildcats are 15-1 this season and have won their first five Pac-12 matchups. That is the best overall record through 16 games Arizona has put together since the 2013-14 season when it reached the Elite 8.

Its only loss this season thus far was at No. 24 Tennessee 77-73 on Dec. 22.

First-year head coach Tommy Lloyd’s squad has the second-highest scoring team in the nation behind Gonzaga.

They’ve done this with a balanced offense that has four players averaging double-digit points per game. The unit shares the ball effectively, leading the country in assists per game with 21.8.

Their ability and willingness to make the extra pass led to many open dunks and layups against Stanford:

Sophomore guard Bennedict Mathurin leads the team with 17.7 points per game on 50% shooting.

The NET rankings take into account strength of schedule and net efficiency ratings.

Arizona is 2-1 in Quad 1 games, 3-0 in Quad 2 and 4-0 in Quad 3.

The Associated Press poll has Arizona third behind Gonzaga and Auburn, although that has not been updated since Monday.

The Wildcats visit the California Golden Bears Sunday before heading to Los Angeles to face No. 9 UCLA (AP) on Tuesday.

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