Arizona men’s basketball remains ranked No. 3 in the Associated Press poll after a pair of dominant home victories.
For the second straight week, the Wildcats are third in the poll behind Kansas and Purdue. Arizona received three first-place votes and 1,364 points, eight more points than a week ago. Marquette and UConn round out the top five.
Arizona decisively beat Belmont and UT-Arlington over the course of 48 hours to move to 5-0 on the season.
The Wildcats now prepare to take on No. 21 Michigan State. MSU which went 2-1 over the last week, losing to Duke and beating Butler and Alcorn State.
Arizona faces MSU Thursday in Palm Desert, Calif. The game will tip at 2 p.m. MST on Fox.
MSU is one of four remaining ranked non-conference opponents on Arizona’s schedule. The UA also has games against No. 2 Purdue, No. 17 Alabama and No. 19 Florida Atlantic, which dropped nine spots after falling at home to Bryant yesterday.
Arizona, of course, already has a road win over No. 9 Duke.
Two other Pac-12 teams are ranked: Colorado at No. 18 and USC at No. 23. The Trojans dropped fell seven spots after falling at home to UC Irvine. UCLA is fifth in receiving votes.
If Arizona beats MSU Thursday, there’s a good chance the Wildcats move up in the rankings next week. That’s because No. 1 Kansas and No. 2 Purdue are both competing in the Maui Invitational, ensuring one of those teams will pick up at least one loss. If both teams lose, Arizona could conceivably move to No. 1 next week.
The last time Arizona reached No. 1 in the AP poll was January 2014.