Arizona dips in NCAA men’s basketball rankings after split at Oregon schools

Jan 29, 2024, 11:52 AM | Updated: 11:53 am

Head coach Tommy Lloyd...

Head coach Tommy Lloyd of the Arizona Wildcats looks on before the Desert Classic against the Florida Atlantic Owls at T-Mobile Arena on December 23, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

A road split against the Oregon schools led to the Arizona Wildcats men’s basketball team falling in the updated Associated Press rankings.

The No. 11 Wildcats, who were ranked No. 9 previously, fell on Thursday by three points thanks to a buzzer-beating trey by Oregon State Beavers guard Jordan Pope before they rebounded to beat the Oregon Ducks, 87-78, on Saturday.

Arizona guard Caleb Love led the team in scoring with 23 at OSU and 36 against Oregon, as the Wildcats struggled to find bench support. Arizona’s reserves combined for 23 points across the two games.

No other Pac-12 is ranked in the AP Top 25, nor earned any points in the voting.

By NET rankings, which are considered in determining NCAA Tournament berths, the Pac-12 has four teams among the top 40 teams: Arizona (4th), Colorado (29th), Utah (37th) and Washington State (40th).

The top five of the AP Top 25 poll remained unchanged Monday with defending national champ UConn still ahead of mighty Purdue, streaking North Carolina, defensive-minded Houston and Tennessee.

There was plenty of chaos in the rest of the poll, where 10 teams moved at least five positions one way or another.

The Huskies were still the clear No. 1, picking up four more first-place votes after a 99-56 rout of Xavier for their eighth straight win. They topped the poll on 48 of 63 ballots from the national panel of media, while the Boilermakers received 14 votes for No. 1 and the Cougars picked up the remaining one.

Purdue remained No. 2 after reigning AP player of the year Zach Edey scored 26 points in a win over Rutgers, which made him only the sixth Big Ten player with at least 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds.

The third-ranked Tar Heels extended their winning streak to 10 with wins over Wake Forest and Florida State, while the Cougars stymied No. 21 BYU and Kansas State to remain at No. 4. Tennessee beat Vanderbilt to remain fifth.

That’s where the wild movement in the poll begins.

Wisconsin rode a slew of losses by top-10 teams, and wins over Minnesota and Michigan State, to climb seven spots to No. 6 for the Badgers’ best ranking since Dec. 28, 2020. Duke climbed five spots to No. 7, and was followed by Kansas, Marquette and Kentucky, which fell four positions following its loss to South Carolina last week.

Arizona was No. 11 while Iowa State made the biggest jump, vaulting 11 spots to No. 12 after beating Kansas State and seventh-ranked Kansas. The Cyclones were followed by Creighton, Illinois and Texas Tech, which moved up five spots after its win over Oklahoma and headed into the week atop the Big 12 at 16-3 overall and 5-1 in league play.

Auburn tumbled eight spots to No. 16 after back-to-back losses to Alabama and Mississippi State, and was followed by Utah State and Baylor. New Mexico moved up six positions to No. 19 after ending a nine-game losing streak to Nevada with an 89-55 rout. Florida Atlantic survived a slugfest with North Texas and came in at No. 20.

The final five consisted of Dayton, BYU and Oklahoma — which fell 12 spots after its losses to Texas and Texas Tech — along with Alabama and TCU, who both returned to the poll after falling out earlier this season.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

NCAA men’s basketball AP rankings

Record Pts Prv
1. UConn (48) 18-2 1559 1
2. Purdue (14) 19-2 1517 2
3. North Carolina 17-3 1441 3
4. Houston (1) 18-2 1396 4
5. Tennessee 15-4 1328 5
6. Wisconsin 16-4 1135 13
7. Duke 15-4 1066 12
8. Kansas 16-4 1051 7
9. Marquette 15-5 1025 14
10. Kentucky 15-4 1018 6
11. Arizona 15-5 915 9
12. Iowa St. 16-4 869 23
13. Creighton 16-5 741 17
14. Illinois 15-5 717 10
15. Texas Tech 16-3 713 20
16. Auburn 16-4 631 8
17. Utah St. 18-2 596 18
18. Baylor 14-5 404 15
19. New Mexico 18-3 387 25
20. FAU 17-4 321 22
21. Dayton 16-3 294 16
22. BYU 15-5 283 21
23. Oklahoma 15-5 247 11
24. Alabama 14-6 240
25. TCU 15-5 215

Others receiving votes in the AP men’s college basketball rankings: South Carolina 108, San Diego St. 95, Memphis 48, Northwestern 32, Mississippi 30, Texas 10, Colorado St. 10, Saint Mary’s 9, Indiana St 5, Boise St. 5, Richmond 4, Gonzaga 4, Virginia 3, McNeese St. 2, Appalachian St 1.

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