The No. 3/4 Arizona Wildcats men’s basketball team (14-0, 2-0) just keeps on winning…because that’s what good teams do.
Arizona lost its consensus No. 3 ranking in this week's polls but managed to remain one of college basketball’s four unbeatens after surviving close calls against Colorado and Utah last week.
The Utes gave Arizona a similar scare on Saturday when they cut the lead to one with a minute and change remaining.
The Wildcats now make their way north to take on the Oregons in arguably Arizona’s toughest two-game stretch outside of road rematches with Colorado and Utah…and maybe a late-season visit to a possibly ranked UCLA squad, 48 hours after throwing down with USC.
AP Poll: No. 4 (No. 3 LW)
After back-to-back weeks at No. 3, the Wildcats were leap-frogged by Louisville.
Voters felt the Cardinals' blowout win over Providence was five votes better than the two squeakers Arizona was able to pull out.
At 1,442 total votes, the Wildcats remains less than 200 votes from No. 1 (1,622), despite all the first place votes still going to Duke (62) or Michigan (3).
USA Today Coaches Poll: No. 3 (No. 3 LW)
Luckily, the Coaches Poll wasn’t fooled by Louisville win over an 8-4 Providence team now in the midst of a four-game losing streak.
In fact the Coaches Poll made no changes to the top seven.
First place votes also broke down the same…30/1 in favor of Duke over Michigan.
Arizona’s 691 total votes are just 54 from second and 85 from first.
UCLA was the only other conference team to get consensus love, but they weren’t able to make it out of the “other receiving votes” section.
RPI: No. 4
The NCAA’s first RPI release confirmed what many of us suspected…the Wildcats are pretty good but Duke and Michigan have slightly more impressive resumes to date.
The biggest surprises near the top were No.2 Kansas, No. 6 Colorado, No. 8 Miami and No. 11 New Mexico.
Kansas sits outside the top five in the rankings, Colorado has the most losses (4) of any team in the RPI top 20, Miami is…well Miami, and New Mexico is ranked but only in one poll and barely at No. 25 in the AP.
1/10 @Oregon (12-2, 1-0)
Similar to Arizona, the Ducks have size, scoring and a mix of young and old.
Dotson does the scoring, the Ducks all senior front court does the dirty work.
All are all capable of having a big night, they just haven’t done it consistently enough against a weak nonconference schedule to wow anyone.
1/12 @Oregon State (10-4, 0-1)
With a quick turnaround, the Wildcats could find themselves playing the Beavers’ brand of basketball.
Physical, low scoring and close enough at the end for junior guard Ahmad Starks to do his late-game thing.
Picking up two of their four losses in the last two weeks, OSU’s play has dipped recently… but as Arizona learned in the first week of Pac-12 play, no conference game is going to be a gimmie.
The Beavers are far from a pushover but their recent overtime loss to a 4-8 Towson team is quite questionable.
All the more reason the Wildcats need to be on high alert as OSU looks to get back in the hunt for March by pulling off the upset.