Arizona jumps back to No. 5 in college basketball poll

Arizona jumped back up to No. 5 in this week’s Associated Press college basketball rankings, regaining the four places it lost a week ago.

The Wildcats (23-3) are followed by two of their Pac-12 rivals — UCLA at No. 6 and Oregon at No. 7. Arizona registered a pair of lackluster wins over Stanford and California last week to move into sole possession of first place in the conference.

Gonzaga (26-0), the lone unbeaten team in Division I, remains No. 1 for a third week after receiving 60 first-place votes from the 65-member national media panel on Monday.

Villanova (24-2), which received the other five first-place votes, and Kansas held second and third, with Baylor moving up from sixth to fourth.

The top four teams match those announced Saturday as the preliminary No. 1 seeds by the NCAA Tournament selection committee, although its order was Villanova, Kansas, Baylor and Gonzaga.

Louisville, West Virginia and North Carolina follow the three Pac-12 teams in rounding out the top 10.

Arizona’s No. 5 ranking matches its highest spot of the season. The Wildcats were fifth two weeks ago before an 85-58 loss at Oregon knock them down to No. 9 last week. Oregon climbed to fifth on the strength of the victory, but the Ducks then lost at UCLA on Thursday.

The Ducks were not alone, with 12 of the Top 25 losing last week.

The week’s biggest jump and fall came from the same game. SMU moved from 25th to No. 19 and Cincinnati dropped from 11th to No. 18 after the Mustangs ended the Bearcats’ 15-game winning streak on Sunday. Duke, which beat North Carolina and Clemson last week, also moved up six places, from 18th to No. 12.

Notre Dame returns to the poll at No. 25 after being out for one week. The Fighting Irish replace Xavier.

Kansas will have two games against ranked teams this week, Monday against West Virginia and Saturday at Baylor.

Other double-ranked games are Duke at Virginia on Wednesday, Virginia at North Carolina on Saturday and Maryland at Wisconsin on Sunday.

1. Gonzaga (60)   ­  26-0  1620   1

2. Villanova (5)  ­    24-2  1564   2

3. Kansas         ­       22-3  1493   3

4. Baylor         ­        22-3  1394   6

5. Arizona        ­       23-3  1301   9

6. UCLA           ­       23-3  1276  10

7. Oregon         ­       22-4  1229   5

8. Louisville     ­       20-5  1204   4

9. West Virginia  ­   20-5  1012  13

10. North Carolina ­ 21-5  1005   8

11. Wisconsin      ­     21-4   868   7

12. Duke           ­         20-5   857  18

13. Kentucky       ­      20-5   854  15

14. Virginia       ­         18-6   825  12

15. Florida        ­          20-5   717  17

16. Purdue         ­         20-5   682  16

17. Florida State  ­      21-5   665  14

18. Cincinnati     ­       22-3   634  11

19. SMU            ­          22-4   415  25

20. Creighton      ­      21-4   298  23

21. South Carolina ­  20-5   296  19

22. Saint Mary’s   ­    22-3   269  20

23. Maryland       ­     21-4   136  21

24. Butler         ­          19-6   129  22

25. Notre Dame     ­   19-7   122  —

Others receiving votes: Wichita State 87, Xavier 72, Northwestern 60,Southern Cal 16, VCU 14, Dayton 4, Middle Tennessee 3, Monmouth 2, Oklahoma State 1, Vermont 1.