Arizona didn’t just come back from Hawaii with some extra hardware, it also returned to Tucson with a bunch of court cred after rolling through the Maui Invitational field.
And, accordingly, a Top 5 national ranking.
The Wildcats (6-0) have jumped 10 spots in the latest Associated Press Top 25, sitting at No. 4 as they prepare for the start of Pac-12 Conference play.
Arizona’s rise was due to its perfect run in Maui, beating Cincinnati, then-No. 17 San Diego State (no No. 24) and then-No. 10 Creighton (now No. 7) for its third Maui Invitational title. The Wildcats nearly doubled their vote point total, going from 725 to 1,341.
Houston took over the No. 1 spot, followed by Texas and Virginia. Those three teams got 55 of the 63 first-place votes while Purdue, which jumped from No. 24 to No. 5 after winning one of the Phil Knight Invitational brackets, got the other eight.
Arizona is one of two Pac-12 schools currently ranked, as UCLA (5-2) sits at No. 21.
The Wildcats open conference play Thursday at Utah, hosting winless Cal on Sunday, before returning to non-league play and facing two more ranked opponents. Arizona faces No. 10 Indiana on Dec. 10 in Las Vegas and then hosts No. 13 Tennessee at McKale Center on Dec. 17.