Tuesday, April 23, 2024

College basketball rankings: Arizona captures Pac-12 regular-season title with help from Washington State

The Wildcats are the No. 7 team in the CBS Sports Top 25 And 1

Kim O’Reilly, CBS Sports

There was no way for Arizona to secure the outright Pac-12 regular-season title late Thursday without help from Washington State. And by “help from Washington State,” I mean the Cougars needed to help Arizona’s cause by losing at home to Washington, a rival they’d already beaten on the road.

Surprisingly, they did.

Washington State really lost at home to Washington 74-68 after closing as 6.5-point favorites. So when Arizona wrapped up an impressive 88-65 victory at UCLA, the Wildcats grabbed their second outright Pac-12 title in the past three years. That means Tommy Lloyd now has two outright conference championships and two conference tournament championships at this point in his third season as a head coach, and he’ll add a third conference tournament title next week in Las Vegas if the bracket unfolds the way it should.

“We got PTC mindset — Pac-12 Champions mindset,” said Arizona’s Keshad Johnson, and perhaps that’ll end up on a t-shirt somewhere.

Either way, what Lloyd is doing at Arizona is undeniably impressive, as he has his program set up to transition smoothly into the Big 12 next season the same way Kelvin Sampson helped Houston transition smoothly into the Big 12 this season. Arizona remains in contention for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and is No. 7 in Friday morning’s updated CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 daily college basketball rankings, where Purdue is No. 1 for the 17th consecutive day.

The Wildcats will close the regular season Saturday at USC. KenPom.com projects them as double-digit favorites inside the Galen Center.

Top 25 And 1 rankings

Biggest Movers

1 Nevada

5 Washington State

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