Arizona basketball falls to lowest ranking of season; Cats off six AP ballotsby Anthony Gimino on Mar. 04, 2013, under Arizona basketball
The Arizona Wildcats, having been swept at USC and UCLA last week, fell to their lowest ranking of the season in the AP poll, landing at No. 18 on Monday.
Arizona dropped seven spots this week but remained the Pac-12′s highest-ranked team. Oregon is No. 19 and fellow league co-leader UCLA is at No. 23.
The Cats were left off six of the 65 AP ballots, including that of Seth Davis of Sports Illustrated/CBS Sports.
Arizona has lost four of its past seven games, so you could make the case that the Wildcats aren’t playing like a Top 25 team right now, but Davis really punished UA after the two losses.
He ranked the Cats as the eighth-best team in the country last week and then moved them entirely off his ballot.
It was a similar story for Alabama-based writer Joel Erickson, who dropped Arizona from his ballot after putting it ninth last week.
There was a wide range of opinion on Arizona, whose best ranking this week, No. 12, came from Roger Clarkson of the Athens (Ga.) Banner-Herald.
Arizona fell only two spots, to 13th, in the NCAA’s official RPI. The Wildcats still hold up well when looking at the entire season, thanks to their play in non-conference games, and they don’t have a truly terrible loss. The worst was to USC, which is 89th in the RPI. It’s not as if Arizona lost to Penn State (as No. 7 Michigan did) or TCU (as fourth-ranked Kansas did).
Gonzaga is No. 1 in both major polls for the first time in its history.
The Cats had been as low as 12th in the AP rankings three times this season (including on the AP preseason poll). They were as high as No. 3 as late as the week of Jan. 10 after a 14-0 start.
The Wildcats finish the regular season at home against Arizona State on Saturday. The game begins at 2:30 p.m. on Fox Sports Net.
Then comes the Pac-12 tournament next week, followed by the NCAAs.
“For us, it’s a matter of focusing on a great week, finishing off our season at home on the right foot against our rival,” said coach Sean Miller. “And then kind of recharge and see what we can do here in both tournaments.”