One loss cost the Arizona Wildcats three spots in the AP men’s basketball poll.
Coming off a road split — losing at Oregon and winning at Oregon State — Arizona went from fourth to seventh in the poll, released Monday morning. The USA Today coaches poll concurs; UA is seventh in that one, too.
If the Cats could have scratched out a few more points in Eugene, they would be the only undefeated team in the country and might be sitting at No. 1 for the first time since the week of March 10, 2003. The final two unbeaten teams — Duke and Michigan — lost last weekend.
Arizona, at 15-1 overall and 3-1 in the Pac-12, has all week to prepare for Saturday’s game at Arizona State.
The Sun Devils nearly knocked off Oregon on Sunday night, falling 68-65. The Ducks (14-2, 3-0) entered the AP poll at No. 21, their first ranking since December 2007.
A third Pac-12 team made the poll. Red-hot UCLA (14-3, 4-0) moved back into the AP rankings this week at No. 24, riding a nine-game winning streak.
Five teams received first-place votes in the AP poll, with Louisville rising to the top spot.
Arizona was mentioned as high as fifth on four of the 65 AP ballots. Three voters put the Cats as low as 11th.