Arizona falls in AP rankings, loses hold of No. 1 NCAA Tournament seed projections

Mar 11, 2024, 11:03 AM

Kylan Boswell and Tommy Lloyd of the Arizona Wildcats look on...

Kylan Boswell #4 of the Arizona Wildcats looks on from the bench during the second half against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Desert Financial Arena on February 28, 2024 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

The Arizona Wildcats split their trip to Los Angeles with a win against UCLA followed by a loss to USC, a shot to their overall resume heading into the Pac-12 Tournament this week. It bumped Arizona from fifth to sixth in the Associated Press’ final top 25 rankings for men’s basketball before UA’s postseason begins.

In terms of NCAA Tournament seeding, the loss to the Trojans bumped Arizona from a likely No. 1 seed to a No. 2 seed in most bracket projections for the Big Dance.

Tennesee, which had been on the Wildcats’ heels heading into this past weekend, is now the fourth No. 1 seed, while North Carolina is the top-ranked No. 2 seed, according to a composite of bracket predictions on

Arizona has a chance to move back up the rankings and in NCAA Tournament positioning if it can get some help in other conference tournaments, then advance well past the winner of Washington and USC on Thursday to open its Pac-12 Tournament play.

Heading into the week of major conference tournaments, Houston remained atop the AP poll for the third consecutive week Monday while a couple of the game’s traditional bluebloods made big jumps as they peak just in time for postseason play.

The Cougars received 52 of 62 first-place votes from a national media panel after a week in which they beat UCF and routed then-No. 14 Kansas to clinch the Big 12 regular-season title in their first year in the league. The three straight weeks Houston has spent at No. 1 matches the school’s longest run since the 1967-68 season.

Defending national champion UConn, the top seed in the Big East tourney, was second in the poll after picking up six first-place votes. Purdue — the top seed in the Big Ten tourney — remained at No. 3 after getting four first-place votes.

The big movement came in the rest of the top 10, where North Carolina jumped three spots to No. 4 after beating then-No. 9 Duke. Kentucky vaulted six spots to No. 9 after its win over then-No. 4 Tennessee.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Final AP men’s college basketball top 25 rankings

Record Pts Prv
1. Houston (52) 28-3 1540 1
2. UConn (6) 28-3 1471 2
3. Purdue (4) 28-3 1453 3
4. North Carolina 25-6 1361 7
5. Tennessee 24-7 1291 4
6. Arizona 24-7 1125 5
7. Iowa St. 24-7 1120 6
8. Creighton 23-8 1094 10
9. Kentucky 23-8 1018 15
10. Marquette 23-8 1011 8
11. Duke 24-7 976 9
12. Auburn 24-7 914 13
13. Illinois 23-8 802 12
14. Baylor 22-9 786 11
15. South Carolina 25-6 567 17
16. Kansas 22-9 558 14
17. Gonzaga 24-6 511 19
18. Utah St. 26-5 486 22
19. Alabama 21-10 432 16
20. BYU 22-9 381 20
21. Saint Mary’s 24-7 306 23
22. Washington St 23-8 239 18
23. Nevada 26-6 223
24. Dayton 24-6 155 25
25. Texas Tech 22-9 149

Others receiving votes: Boise St. 46, South Florida 27, San Diego St. 21, Drake 16, Texas 14, James Madison 14, FAU 11, Florida 8, Princeton 7, Nebraska 6, New Mexico 4, Colorado 2, McNeese St. 2, Colorado St. 1, Wake Forest 1, Indiana St 1.

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