Arizona falls from AP rankings; ASU debuts at No. 20

Arizona's Deandre Ayton (13) and guard Allonzo Trier (35) react during the Wildcats' loss to Purdue in the Battle 4 Atlantis.
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona’s three consecutive defeats in the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas knocked the Wildcats out of the AP Top 25 men’s basketball poll.

The Wildcats (3-3) had entered the tournament ranked No. 2, and their fall to the ranks of the unranked hadn’t happened since second-ranked Louisville suffered a similar fate after flopping in the 1986 Great Alaska Shootout.

Making matters worse for Arizona basketball fans is the rise of arch-rival Arizona State (6-0), which climbed into the rankings at No. 20 after knocking off Kansas State and Xavier in the Las Vegas Invitational. It’s ASU’s first appearance in the AP rankings since March of 2009.

Duke (8-0) was a unanimous No. 1 after winning the PK80 Invitational’s Motion Bracket in Portland, Ore. Kansas moved up to No. 2, followed by Michigan State, Villanova and Notre Dame.

Florida, Kentucky, Wichita State, Texas A&M and Miami round out the top 10.

Duke staged a pair of impressive rallies to win its games in Portland, overcoming a 16-point deficit to beat Texas in overtime and then coming back from 17 down to beat Florida. Freshman Marvin Bagley III turned huge performances in back-to-back games: 34 points and 15 rebounds against Texas, 30 points and 15 rebounds against Florida.

“It’s November, whatever happens we have to use it as the process of growth,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said afterward. “Our goal is to keep getting better.”

Reigning national champion North Carolina slid from No. 9 to No. 13 after its first loss since last season. The Tar Heels (5-1) lost 63-45 to Michigan State in the PK80 event while shooting a program-record-low 24.6 percent.


Notre Dame (6-0) made the biggest leap, climbing eight spots after rallying to beat Wichita State in the Maui title game. Texas A&M (6-0) was up seven spots from No. 16 to No. 9 after a road win at then-No. 10 Southern California. And Baylor (5-0) jumped from No. 22 to No. 16.

Xavier (5-1) dropped from No. 15 to No. 21 after losing to Arizona State, and USC (4-1) slid four spots from No. 10 to No. 14 after losing to Texas A&M.


The Top 25 welcomed five new teams this week: No. 18 Virginia, No. 20 Arizona State, No. 22 Texas Tech, No. 23 TCU and No. 25 Creighton.

Joining Arizona on the list of teams falling out of the poll were Purdue (No. 18 last week), Seton Hall (No. 20), St. Mary’s (No. 21) and UCLA (No. 24).

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