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AP voters go easy on Arizona women’s basketball after first loss

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: JAN 27 Women’s UCLA at Arizona Photo by Jacob Snow/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Once the final buzzer sounded on the Arizona Wildcats’ first loss of the season, the next question was how much it would hurt them in the polls. As it turned out, it didn’t hurt them at all. The Wildcats remain No. 18 in the newly-released AP poll for the fourth straight week.

The voters rewarded UCLA by moving them up two spots. The Bruins were No. 10 last week, but jumped to No. 8 after their wins over Arizona and Arizona State this weekend.

The Wildcats went 1-1 this weekend to improve to 13-1 on the season and 2-1 in Pac-12 play. They defeated USC by a score of 65-57 on Friday night before the 70-58 loss to UCLA.

Staying put this week make it more likely that the Wildcats will remain ranked after next weekend when they face the toughest two-game stretch of the season. The Oregon Ducks and the Oregon State Beavers, who remained at second and third in the AP poll, will visit McKale Center over the weekend.

The improvement of UCLA was the only change for the Pac-12’s five ranked teams. In addition to Arizona, Oregon and Oregon State, Stanford stayed in their previous position at No. 5.

The game between two of the final five unbeaten squads in women’s college basketball had the attention of the sport, including at least one WNBA head coach. Dallas Wings head coach Brian Agler was in attendance at Pauley Pavilion on Sunday as the UCLA Bruins defeated Arizona.

UCLA and Oregon State are now the only unbeaten teams in the Pac-12.