Arizona enters NCAA Tournament as No. 8 in AP poll
Running through Stanford, Arizona State and UCLA to win the Pac-12 Tournament didn’t budge the Arizona Wildcats in the final men’s college basketball rankings ahead of the NCAA Tournament.
The Associated Press top-25 poll held the 28-6 Wildcats at No. 8 in the rankings.
There was, however, a shakeup at the top. Former No. 1 Houston fell to Memphis to end the AAC Tournament, which catapulted former No. 4 squad Alabama to the new No. 1 overall spot.
The Crimson Tide is also the top overall seed in the NCAA Tournament and finds itself in the South Region, where Arizona is the second seed.
Alabama, fresh off an SEC Tournament title to go with its regular-season crown, earned 48 of 61 first-place votes to jump Houston, which lost in the AAC final without star guard Marcus Sasser.
Houston still received nine first-place votes and was No. 2 after losing to Memphis in the final of the AAC tourney, where Sasser hurt his groin in the semifinal round. He did not play in the championship and his status will be watched closely leading up to the Cougars’ NCAA opener against Northern Kentucky.
Purdue, seeded first in the East Region, earned three first-place votes and was third in the AP poll after the regular-season Big Ten champion won its conference tournament, too. Kansas, which expects to have Bill Self back for the NCAA tourney after a medical scare, was fourth after receiving the No. 1 seed in the West.
Texas routed the Jayhawks in the finals of the Big 12 Tournament and rounded out the top five.
Marquette remained at No. 6 after its Big East tourney title. UCLA earned one first-place vote and was seventh after losing in the Pac-12 Tournament final to Arizona, which was No. 8. Gonzaga and UConn rounded out the top 10.
The Associated Press contributed to this story
The Associated Press top 25 poll – Pre-NCAA Tournament
|1. Alabama (48)||29-5||1508||4|
|2. Houston (9)||31-3||1404||1|
|3. Purdue (3)||29-5||1367||5|
|7. UCLA (1)||29-5||1209||2|
|15. Kansas St||23-9||709||12|
|17. Texas A&M||25-9||562||18|
|18. San Diego St.||27-6||550||20|
|19. Saint Mary’s||26-7||426||16|
Others receiving votes: Creighton 94, Oral Roberts 58, Kentucky 39, Iowa St. 32, VCU 26, Utah St. 15, Penn St. 11, Coll of Charleston 10, Kent St. 2, Northwestern 2, Drake 2, West Virginia 2.