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Arizona women’s basketball rises to No. 17 in Associated Press Top 25

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: JAN 27 Womens Washington at Arizona Photo by Christopher Hook/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The first road sweep of the Los Angeles schools in 21 years helped Arizona women’s basketball move back up to No. 17 in the Associated Press Top 25. It was an improvement of five spots from last week and makes the Wildcats the third-best Pac-12 team in the media poll.

Arizona beat then-No. 14 UCLA in overtime on Friday night, dropping the Bruins four spots to No. 18 in this week’s poll. The Wildcats followed that with a double-overtime win over a USC team that continues to receive votes despite the loss. USC has wins over Stanford and Colorado, both of whom were ranked.

UA next faces Stanford, which dropped four spots to No. 6 after a surprising road loss to unranked Washington. The Huskies gave Arizona a tough game at McKale Center the previous weekend and were finally able to pull off a big win over a ranked team against the Cardinal.

Utah remained at No. 7 after beating Oregon State and Oregon on the road. The Utes will host Washington and Washington State this week before making the trip to face the Arizona schools. They narrowly defeated the Wildcats in the Huntsman Center in January.

Colorado is the fifth ranked Pac-12 team, standing pat at No. 25 after their own road wins over the Ducks and the Beavers.

The Women of Troy are the lone Pac-12 team still on the “others receiving votes” list. They garnered eight points in this week’s poll, putting them fifth on that list.

Arizona’s wins this weekend also gave it sole possession of fourth place in conference standings, which would give the Wildcats a first-round bye in the Pac-12 Tournament if they can hold the position. Defeating UCLA and USC was vital to that because both teams were tied with UA for fourth before the weekend and neither makes a return trip to Tucson this season. Arizona now holds the tiebreaker over both by virtue of head-to-head wins.

The loss by Stanford dropped it into a tie with Utah for the regular season lead. The two end the season with a game in Salt Lake City on Feb. 25. The Cardinal beat the Utes by eight at home earlier in the season.