With less than two weeks before selection Sunday, the UCLA men’s basketball team has put itself in a good position.
Saturday’s victory at Arizona vaulted the Bruins two spots to No. 3 in Monday’s Associated Press poll. It’s UCLA’s highest ranking since it was No. 2 on Dec. 26.
The loss to UCLA dropped Arizona from No. 4 to No. 7 and Gonzaga fell from No. 1 to No. 4 after suffering its first defeat in its final regular season game Saturday against BYU.
Kansas moved up to No. 1, receiving 58 of the 65 first-place votes. No. 2 Villanova got two first-place votes, UCLA got three and Gonzaga two.
North Carolina moved up three spots to No. 5 and Oregon held steady at No. 6, giving the Pac-12 three teams in the top seven.
UCLA’s two remaining regular-season games are at Pauley Pavilion this week. The Bruins play Washington on Wednesday and Washington State on Saturday, both of whom they defeated on the road this season.
UCLA dropped as low as No. 11 in the AP poll after back-to-back losses to Arizona and USC brought its loss total to three on Jan. 25. It hasn’t lost since.
UCLA went undefeated in February for the first time since its 1995 team went on to win the program’s last national championship.
Saturday’s 77-72 win at Arizona ended the Wildcats’ 21-game home winning streak. It was UCLA’s first win at McKale Center in more than four years and gave the Bruins victories this season over three teams ranked in the top five at the time.
Arizona and Oregon, each with one game remaining in the regular season, are tied, a game and a half ahead of UCLA in the conference standings. Arizona plays at Arizona State on Saturday; Oregon plays at Oregon State.
Both would need to lose and UCLA would need to sweep its final two games to pull the Bruins into a tie atop the conference standings.
The AP top 25
1. Kansas (58)
2. Villanova (2)
3. UCLA (3)
4. Gonzaga (2)
5. North Carolina
10. West Virginia
15. Florida State
19. Notre Dame
20. Saint Mary’s
21. Wichita State
24. Iowa State
Others receiving votes: Minnesota 66, Oklahoma State 54, Dayton 32, Michigan 14, Middle Tennessee 13, Creighton 12, Southern Cal 7, Michigan State 3, Monmouth 3, Vermont 2, VCU 2, Virginia Tech 2, Arkansas 1, BYU 1, Maryland 1, Princeton 1.
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