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AP voters reward Arizona women’s basketball for big win over Louisville

NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament - Final Four - Semifinal2 Photo by C. Morgan Engel/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

The Arizona Wildcats debuted in the preseason Associated Press poll at No. 22 with some voters leaving last year’s runners-up off their ballots completely. One big win was enough to correct that.

After their 61-59 overtime win over Louisville on Friday, the Wildcats shot up 11 places in the first poll of the regular season. That places them at No. 11, the exact spot they were in for last year’s final AP poll. That poll was released before Arizona’s big run to the title game.

After their win over the Cardinals, Arizona head coach Adia Barnes said she didn’t know if it was just her or not, but she felt that a lot of people “always doubt what we do.”

“I think that we just earned some respect,” Barnes said.

Louisville is ranked one spot ahead of the Wildcats at No. 10.

The Wildcats are now the third-highest ranked team out of the Pac-12. The league has five teams ranked in the Top 25. The defending national champions from Stanford took a tumble after losing at home to then-No. 25 Texas. The Cardinal are now ranked seventh, down from No. 3 in the preseason poll.

Behind Stanford is Oregon at No. 9, up one spot from the early poll. Oregon State dropped one spot to No. 15, while UCLA stood pat at No. 20. Washington State and Colorado are receiving votes.

The Wildcats will take the court as the No. 11 team on Monday night when they host Texas Southern. The team will raise their Final Four banner after the game.