ARIZONA BASKETBALL

Arizona Wildcats back inside top 5 of latest college basketball rankings

Mar 4, 2024, 1:41 PM

Arizona Wildcats celebrate...

Keshad Johnson #16 of the Arizona Wildcats reacts after dunking the ball against the Washington Huskies during the second half at McKale Center on February 24, 2024 in Tucson, Arizona. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

The Arizona Wildcats found themselves back inside the top five of the Associated Press men’s college basketball rankings after a pair of double-digit wins over the Arizona State Sun Devils and Oregon Ducks last week.

Arizona came in as the No. 5 team in the country after falling to No. 6 the week prior.

The Sun Devils meanwhile did not receive any votes after receiving an unexpected 17 points last week the El Paso Times‘ Bret Bloomquist ranked ASU No. 9.

The Houston Cougars received 52 first-place votes from the 62-person media panel in the poll released Monday to hold the top spot for the second straight week.

UConn moved up a spot to No. 2 and had six first-place votes to leapfrog No. 3 Purdue, which had four first-place votes. Tennessee and Arizona rounded out the top five.

Houston moved to No. 1 for the first time this season a week ago and won both of its games last week: a 67-59 home win over Cincinnati and, thanks to Jamal Shead’s last-second shot, a win at Oklahoma 87-85.

Houston is still leading the country in KenPom’s adjusted defensive efficiency despite giving up 85 points to the Sooners. The win allowed coach Kelvin Sampson to have a triumphant return to Norman, where he coached from 1994 to 2006.

UConn had a nice bounce back after being knocked from the No. 1 spot following a six-week run, blowing out Seton Hall 91-61 at home for its first outright Big East title in 25 years. The Huskies, the reigning national champions, had not won even a share of the Big East regular-season title in 18 years.

Purdue dropped a spot despite an 80-74 win over Michigan State that clinched a share of a second straight Big Ten title. The Boilermakers have a two-game lead with two games left.

Conference watch

The Southeastern Conference and the Big 12 each have five ranked teams after BYU re-entered the poll and Florida dropped out.

The Big East has three, followed by the Big Ten, Atlantic Coast, Pac-12, Mountain West and West Coast conferences with two. The Atlantic 10 and AAC each have one.

The Associated Press men’s college basketball rankings – March 4

Record Pts Prv
1. Houston (52) 26-3 1539 1
2. UConn (6) 26-3 1462 3
3. Purdue (4) 26-3 1459 2
4. Tennessee 23-6 1364 4
5. Arizona 23-6 1252 6
6. Iowa State 23-6 1212 8
7. North Carolina 23-6 1201 9
8. Marquette 22-7 1056 5
9. Duke 23-6 1051 10
10. Creighton 22-8 983 12
11. Baylor 21-8 901 15
12. Illinois 22-7 834 13
13. Auburn 22-7 746 11
14. Kansas 21-8 723 7
15. Kentucky 21-8 711 16
16. Alabama 20-9 582 14
17. South Carolina 24-5 579 18
18. Washington State 23-7 484 19
19. Gonzaga 24-6 396 23
20. BYU 21-8 343 NR
21. San Diego State 22-7 338 20
22. Utah St. 24-5 285
23. St. Mary’s 24-7 268 17
24. South Florida 22-5 154 25
25. Dayton 22-6 50 21

Others receiving votes: Nevada 42, Florida 39, Boise St. 26, Texas 10, Texas Tech 10, Indiana St 9, Appalachian St 6, New Mexico 5, FAU 4, James Madison 4, Princeton 3, Michigan St. 2, Villanova 2, Colorado St. 2, McNeese St. 2, Richmond 1.

The Associated press contributed to this report.

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