Arizona basketball bumps into top-5 of AP poll

Jan 30, 2023, 10:46 AM
Arizona forward Azuolas Tubelis smiles as he receives hand slaps while walking to the bench after d...

Arizona forward Azuolas Tubelis smiles as he receives hand slaps while walking to the bench after drawing a foul against Washington during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023, in Seattle. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)

(AP Photo/John Froschauer)

A road sweep of the Washington schools pushed the Arizona Wildcats up a single spot in The Associated Press poll this week, landing them the nation’s No. 5 ranking in men’s basketball.

Arizona (19-3) held off the Washington State Cougars, 63-58, before piling it on the Washington Huskies, 95-78.

Azuolas Tubelis led the team in scoring for both games, with 18 points and 12 boards against WSU and then 25 points, 10 rebounds and four assists at UW.

Purdue became this season’s first unanimous No. 1 team in the AP Top 25 men’s college basketball poll Monday after wins over Michigan and Michigan State last week as chaos ensued behind the Boilermakers among other ranked teams.

More than half of the top 25 teams lost, including second-ranked Alabama, which was routed by Oklahoma in the Big 12-SEC Challenge. That allowed Purdue to grab the remaining No. 1 votes and tighten its grip atop the poll, while Tennessee jumped two spots to second and Houston held onto third in voting by 62 national media members.

The Boilermakers (21-1) have won eight straight since a one-point loss to Rutgers on Jan. 2.

The Volunteers climbed to their highest perch since reaching No. 1 for four weeks during the 2018-19 season. They routed Georgia before becoming one of three SEC teams to beat Big 12 opponents on Saturday, knocking off No. 10 Texas 82-71 for their fifth consecutive win over a top-10 team.

The Crimson Tide dropped to fourth after the blowout loss to the Sooners, when Alabama fell behind by 17 at halftime in an eventual 93-69 defeat. The Tide edged fifth-ranked Arizona by just two points in this week’s poll.

The Associated Press contributed to this story

AP top-25 men’s basketball rankings

Team Record Pts Prv
1. Purdue (62) 21-1 1550 1
2. Tennessee 18-3 1443 4
3. Houston 20-2 1415 3
4. Alabama 18-3 1312 2
5. Arizona 19-3 1310 6
6. Virginia 16-3 1258 7
7. Kansas St 18-3 1190 5
8. Kansas 17-4 1034 9
9. UCLA 17-4 993 8
10. Texas 17-4 939 10
11. Baylor 16-5 905 17
12. Gonzaga 18-4 837 14
13. Iowa St. 15-5 832 12
14. Marquette 17-5 769 16
15. TCU 16-5 752 11
16. Xavier 17-5 689 13
17. Providence 17-5 438 23
18. Saint Mary’s 19-4 419 22
19. FAU 21-1 392 21
20. Clemson 18-4 340 24
21. Indiana 15-6 250
22. San Diego St. 17-4 170
23. Miami 16-5 146 20
24. UConn 16-6 131 19
25. Auburn 16-5 117 15

Others receiving votes: Missouri 74, Coll of Charleston 68, Illinois 56, Creighton 51, New Mexico 47, North Carolina 47, NC State 39, Boise St. 31, Duke 24, Rutgers 17, Texas A&M 16, Northwestern 13, Memphis 10, Pittsburgh 9, Arkansas 9, Nevada 2, Oral Roberts 2, West Virginia 2, Saint Louis 1, Southern Cal 1.

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