ARIZONA STATE BASKETBALL
Wildcats, Sun Devils both in AP rankings for 1st time since 2018
The Arizona Wildcats and Arizona State Sun Devils are both in the top 25 of The Associated Press men’s college basketball rankings for the first time since Feb. 12, 2018.
No. 5 Arizona (10-1) rolled past Texas A&M-Corpus Christi last Tuesday before taking a top-10 showdown Saturday against then-No. 6 Tennessee. The Wildcats were ranked No. 9 last week.
Now ranked 25th, ASU (11-1) was three spots out of the top-25 last week before wins against Creighton on Monday night and then San Diego. The victory over San Diego on Sunday was the Sun Devils’ ninth straight win.
The rivals haven’t been ranked in the same poll since they each came off hosting the Los Angeles schools in February 2018.
That Arizona team was led by head coach Sean Miller and featured current Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton, who would go on that summer to be the No. 1 overall NBA Draft pick.
ASU, led by Bobby Hurley then and now, was composed of veteran guards Tra Holder, Kodi Justice and Shannon Evans II, who sat on the depth chart ahead of freshman Remy Martin.
The No. 17 Wildcats and No. 25 Sun Devils played three days after that poll was released, with Arizona coming away with a 77-70 victory in Tempe to knock ASU from the top 25 for the rest of the year.
Arizona State has spent just six weeks in the poll since then — for four weeks in 2018-19 and two more in 2020-21. The Wildcats were never ranked for either of those seasons.
Until Monday, ASU hadn’t been ranked since Dec. 7, 2020, while Arizona has been in the AP Top 25 dating back to Week 3 of the 2021-22 season, head coach Tommy Lloyd’s first year on the job.
The Wildcats have two games — against Montana State and Morgan State — while the Sun Devils play San Francisco before the rivals play on Dec. 31 in Tempe.
In the latest AP poll, Purdue maintained its grasp on No. 1 Monday.
Another unbeaten is closing the gap, though.
The Boilermakers received 40 of the 60 first-place votes from a national media panel after knocking off Davidson in their only game last week, allowing them to hold the top spot for a second consecutive week. But after then-No. 2 Virginia lost to Houston, Connecticut leaped into second place and scooped up the remaining 20 first-place votes.
It’s the highest the Huskies, unranked in the preseason, have been in the AP poll since they were No. 1 on March 2, 2009.
UConn is coached by Hurley’s brother, Dan Hurley.
The Cougars’ 69-61 road win over the Cavaliers, along with an earlier win over North Carolina A&T, allowed them to climb two spots to No. 3. Kansas moved up four spots after blowing out then-No. 14 Indiana at Allen Fieldhouse, while Arizona rounded out the top five.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
AP Top 25 college basketball rankings
|1. Purdue (40)||11-0||1502||1|
|2. UConn (21)||12-0||1482||3|
|15. Mississippi St.||11-0||623||17|
|21. Virginia Tech||11-1||297||24|
|25. Arizona St||11-1||98||–|
Others receiving votes: Maryland 78, West Virginia 74, Xavier 71, Coll of Charleston 68, New Mexico 64, Memphis 59, North Carolina 36, Ohio St. 33, Iowa St. 26, Iowa 21, San Diego St. 16, Texas Tech 10, Utah St. 10, Michigan St. 7, Southern Cal 7, Kansas St 5, Saint Mary’s (Cal) 1.