BASKETBALL

Arizona basketball: After close calls, Cats drop to 4th in AP poll

2013-01-08T00:00:00Z 2014-08-01T11:23:53Z Arizona basketball: After close calls, Cats drop to 4th in AP pollBruce Pascoe Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
January 08, 2013 12:00 am  • 

The Arizona Wildcats on Monday became the rare team to fall in The Associated Press Top 25 poll Monday despite winning both games in the previous week.

Louisville (13-1) leapfrogged the Wildcats, who dropped from No. 3 to No. 4 after pulling out razor-close victories against Colorado and Utah. The Cardinals beat only Providence last week but have earlier victories over Missouri, Memphis and Kentucky with their only loss to top-rated Duke.

Arizona (14-0), which remained No. 3 in the USA Today/ESPN coaches' Top 25, beat Colorado 92-83 in overtime on Thursday after a would-be game winning three-pointer at the end of regulation was ruled to have been taken too late. Then the Wildcats beat Utah 60-57 on Saturday.

Most of the AP's Western-based pollsters voted the Cats at or below their No. 4 ranking. Ryan Thorburn of the Boulder (Colo.) Daily Camera, who was at McKale Center on Thursday, voted the Wildcats No. 6, as did Arizona's lone voter, Doug Haller of the Republic.

Arizona has an RPI of No. 4 and a Sagarin power rating of No. 10.

The Wildcats have a chance to move immediately back up this weekend, with games at Oregon on Thursday and Oregon State on Saturday. The Ducks received the 34th most votes in the AP poll.

Tough road ahead

Although Oregon beat Oregon State 79-66 on Sunday in Corvallis, Ore., both the Ducks and Beavers could pose a significant challenge for the Wildcats.

Oregon is 10-0 at home while OSU is 7-2 at home, having lost to Towson in overtime and to Oregon on Sunday.

The Ducks moved to 12-2 overall on Sunday after coming back from a 34-28 halftime deficit at OSU, thanks possibly to a heated halftime discussion led by Ducks coach Dana Altman.

"I lost my composure a little bit" at halftime, Altman told reporters after the game.

Meanwhile, OSU coach Craig Robinson was optimistic despite the Beavers' second-half meltdown.

"This team is better than last year's team,'' Robinson said after the game. "This is the best team I've had to start a Pac-12 season with.''

Oregon leads the Pac-12 in three-point percentage defense (29.8 percent), rebounding margin (10.6), steals (9.8) and scoring margin (plus-16.7). The Ducks are second in scoring with an average of 77.5 points per game. They are third in field-goal percentage (46.7), just ahead of Arizona's 46.3 mark.

Oregon State leads the conference in three-point percentage (39.5 percent) and is second in field-goal percentage (46.9) and blocked shots (5.3).

Rim shots

• ASU's Carrick Felix was named the Pac-12's Player of the Week on Monday after averaging 18.5 points and 10.5 rebounds in the Sun Devils' sweep of Utah and Colorado in Tempe.

Arizona nominated forward Solomon Hill, who averaged 17.0 points and 7.0 rebounds last week.

• Arizona has not started the Pac-12 season at 2-0 since 2006-07, when the Wildcats beat California and Stanford at home.

• UA's scoring defense (average of 60.7 points allowed) is the lowest under Sean Miller.

Up next

• Who: No. 4 Arizona at Oregon

• When: 7 p.m. Thursday

• TV: ESPN2

• Radio: 1290-AM, 107.5-FM

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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