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Arizona Wildcats’ basketball ranking their highest since 2003-04 season

Sean Miller

No need to be surprised; Arizona moved up four spots in this week’s poll. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Arizona Wildcats moved to No. 4 in the Associated Press poll released Monday, the basketball program’s highest ranking in almost nine years.

This is the best ranking for the Cats since they were ranked third for the week of Jan. 5, 2004.

Arizona (8-0) is coming off a thrilling 65-64 home victory over then-No. 5 Florida on Saturday, with guard Mark Lyons driving for a basket with 7.1 seconds for the win. With their most significant victory of the season — by far — the Wildcats moved up from the eighth spot in the AP rankings.

“Everybody said something about our schedule before this, and this was the opportunity to prove ourselves in front of the nation,” sophomore guard Nick Johnson said after Saturday night’s game. “We have a lot to do to get better, but we’re going to keep on practicing to get better.”

Duke is the new No. 1, receiving 62 of 65 first-place votes, with the remaining top spots going to Michigan. Former No. 1 Indiana dropped to sixth after losing at home in overtime to Butler.

Five voters have the Wildcats as high as No. 3. The lowest ranking for UA came from Ron Morris of The State newspaper in Columbia, S.C. He has Arizona at No. 8, one spot below Florida. Click here for full voting breakdown.

The Cats are No. 5 in the new USA Today coaches poll.

Arizona plays Tuesday night at home against Oral Roberts (7 p.m., Pac-12 Network).

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