Men’s Basketball AP Poll: Bounce Back Week Sets Up UCLA, Arizona For Top 10 Showdown


The Bruins will be facing their highest-ranked opponent in over two months when the Wildcats come to Pauley Pavilion.

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The Bruins put a hard stop on their slide through the polls, recovering just in time for their highest-profile matchup of the conference season.

UCLA men's basketball (13-2, 5-1 Pac-12) climbed from No. 9 to No. 7 in the latest edition of the AP Poll on Monday. The Bruins did not receive a single first-place vote and totaled 1,116 points.

After returning from their 26-day COVID-19 hiatus to beat Long Beach State and Cal, then splitting their homestand with Oregon and Oregon State, the Bruins had to go on the road for the much-feared Pac-12 mountain trip. UCLA beat both Utah and Colorado in nail-biting fashion, though, bringing their record to 8-1 since the early-season loss to then-No. 1 Gonzaga.

The Bulldogs got back to No. 1 a week ago, but handed that spot over to Auburn and dropped to No. 2 this time around. However, No. 3 is the spot the Bruins have their sights set on for the moment.

Arizona finally leapfrogged UCLA in the polls last week, and now they stand as the Bruins' highest-ranked opponent since that November loss to Gonzaga. The Wildcats will be the third top-five team UCLA faces this season, as they beat then-No. 4 Villanova in the first week of the season before losing to Gonzaga less than two weeks later.

Around the rest of the Pac-12, USC went from No. 16 to No. 15 after following in UCLA's footsteps in sweeping the mountain schools. The Bruins, Trojans and Wildcats remain the only teams in the conference in the top 25, but Oregon remained the receiving votes section with 19 points after extending its winning streak to six.

The full AP poll is as follows, complete with records and first-place votes:

1. Auburn, 18-1 (45 first-place votes)
2. Gonzaga, 15-2 (15 first-place votes)
3. Arizona, 16-1
4. Baylor, 17-2
5. Kansas, 16-2
6. Purdue 16-3
7. UCLA, 13-2
7. Houston, 17-2
9. Duke, 15-3
10. Michigan State, 15-3
11. Wisconsin, 15-3
12. Kentucky, 15-4
13. Texas Tech, 15-4
14. Villanova, 14-5
15. USC, 16-2
16. Ohio State, 12-4
17. Providence, 16-2
18. Tennessee, 13-5
19. LSU, 15-4
20. UConn, 13-4
21. Xavier, 14-4
22. Marquette, 14-6
23 . Iowa State, 14-5
24. Illinois, 13-5
25. Davidson, 16-2

Others receiving votes: BYU 120, Alabama 77, Texas 61, Colorado State 57, Florida State 50, Loyola Chicago 21, Oregon 19, Wake Forest 12, Murray State 10, Indiana 10, Iowa 8, TCU 6, Miami (FL) 4, Saint Mary's 3, Boise State 3, Florida 3, Wyoming 2, Seton Hall 1, Iona 1

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