Wildcats move to No. 8 ranking

2012-12-03T14:37:00Z 2012-12-03T15:29:47Z Wildcats move to No. 8 rankingBy Bruce Pascoe, Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Arizona moved to its highest spot in the national rankings today since Lute Olson coached the Wildcats.

The Wildcats were rated No. 8 by both the AP media poll and ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll.

They haven't been rated that high since Jan. 1, 2007, when both polls put UA at No. 7 during Olson's final season (UA finished that season unranked and wasn't ranked again in the AP poll until midway through the 2010-11 season, though they did finish at No. 23 in the ESPN poll after their 2009 Sweet 16 appearance).

The Wildcats have won all five of their games by an average of 24.6 points but their schedule strength is rated only 272 by Sagarin and 294 by Kenpom.

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Coincidentally, UA's top nonconference opponent, Florida, moved up to No. 6 -- its highest rating since that 2006-07 season.

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ASU's Carrick Felix won the Pac-12 player of the week award over Nick Johnson, Oregon's Arsalan Kazemi and others.

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Southern Miss is making a border swing this week, playing at New Mexico State on Saturday and arriving in Tucson on Sunday night to prepare for Tuesday's game with the Wildcats.

The Golden Eagles lost 68-60 at Las Cruces, N.M., on the first leg of the journey.

"Obviously, we aren't enjoying it too much so far," Southern Miss coach Donnie Tyndall said.

Tyndall said the New Mexico State game was already set when he was hired to take over for Larry Eustachy last spring while the UA game was nearly finished, and he signed off on it because it was a chance for Southern Miss to save travel costs and pick up a guarantee check at the same time.

The Golden Eagles lost not only Eustachy but all but four players from their NCAA tournament team last season.

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 Kyle Fogg has started all four games he's played in for the D-League's Rio Grande Valley Vipers, averaging 3.5 points and 22.2 percent three-point shooting.

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Utah will honor former Utes coach Rick Majerus on Wednesday, and the Utes will eventually place his trademark white sweater in the Huntsman Center rafters.

 

Mike Montgomery blamed the Bears' disaster in Wisconsin on a poor week of practice.

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Some talk of UCLA, Nick Johnson and Rick Majerus on the previous discussion thread. And a note to Rob D: No, you can't switch... but I picked UCLA to win, so we all may suffer!

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