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College basketball rankings: Arizona up to No. 1 in AP Top 25 poll for first time since 2014; UNC joins top 10

For the third time this season, there is a new No. 1 in the AP Top 25 poll. After previous top-ranked Purdue fell on the road to Northwestern last weekend in a Big Ten opener, Arizona moved up one spot Monday to No. 1.

Kansas started the season as the No. 1 team and held that spot until last week. After Purdue finished the Maui Invitational 3-0 with wins over No. 7 Gonzaga, No. 17 Tennessee and No. 8 Marquette, it moved up to the top of the rankings for a week. Arizona is the third different No. 1 team in the last three weeks.

The Wildcats have one of the toughest nonconference schedules in the country and are off to a 7-0 start under third-year coach Tommy Lloyd. Arizona holds wins over No. 22 Duke and Michigan State and face No. 4 Purdue, Alabama and No. 11 FAU before Pac-12 play starts vs. Cal on Dec. 29.

Arizona was last ranked No. 1 in the AP Top 25 poll on Jan. 27, 2014. The Wildcats at that time were coming off a win over Utah to improve to 20-0 and held the No. 1 spot in the rankings for eight consecutive weeks before falling to Cal to end their bid at a perfect season. . 

Arizona received 59 first-place votes, while No. 2 Kansas received one first-place vote and No. 3 Houston received three first-place votes. Purdue fell to No. 4 in this week’s rankings. 

For the first time this season, Gonzaga and North Carolina both entered the top 10. The No. 9 Tar Heels are fresh off a win over Tennessee in the ACC/SEC Challenge, while the No. 7 Zags knocked off USC in Las Vegas. UNC had the biggest rise of any team in the Top 25, jumping eight spots in the poll. 

After upsetting Marquette, Wisconsin checks in at No. 23. The Badgers sit at 6-2 are ranked in the Top 25 for the first time this season. Villanova, Mississippi State and Alabama, all dropped out of the poll.

AP Top 25 

  1. Arizona (59)
  2. Kansas (1)
  3. Houston (3)
  4. Purdue
  5. UConn
  6. Baylor
  7. Gonzaga
  8. Marquette
  9. North Carolina
  10. Creighton
  11. FAU
  12. Texas
  13. Colorado State
  14. BYU
  15. Miami
  16. Kentucky
  17. Tennessee
  18. James Madison
  19. Oklahoma
  20. Illinois
  21. Texas A&M
  22. Duke 
  23. Wisconsin
  24. Clemson
  25. San Diego State

Others receiving votes: Virginia 148, Ohio St. 122, TCU 87, Northwestern 77, Alabama 50, Michigan St. 46, Princeton 35, UCLA 23, Cincinnati 21, Mississippi 15, Arkansas 14, Providence 13, South Carolina 9, Villanova 8, Colorado 5, Memphis 5, Nevada 4, Georgia Tech 2

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