Christian Koloko #35 and Pelle Larsson #3 of the Arizona Wildcats celebrate after the team’s 80-62 victory over the Michigan Wolverines to win the championship game of the Roman Main Event basketball tournament at T-Mobile Arena on November 21, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Wins against Wichita State and then-No. 4 Michigan helped the Arizona Wildcats men’s basketball team leap into The Associated Press Top 25 Poll on Monday.
First-year coach Tommy Lloyd’s team ranks No. 17 after it improved to 5-0 on Sunday with a 80-62 victory against the Wolverines in the Roman Main Event in Las Vegas.
It’s the first time Arizona has been ranked since February of 2020.
Center Christian Koloko has led Arizona’s surge to begin the year by averaging team highs in points (co-lead at 15.4), rebounds (7.6) and blocks (4.0). He scored 22 points to go with seven rebounds, four blocks and two assists in the win against Michigan.
Now-No. 20 Michigan (3-2) dropped 16 spots in the AP Poll. Its loss to Arizona that followed a split earlier in the week with Seton Hall and UNLV.
The Wildcats are the second-highest rated Pac-12 club, behind No. 2 UCLA Bruins (4-0). The USC Trojans moved up to No. 24 in the rankings after appearing at 25th last week in the poll.
The Gonzaga Bulldogs (4-0) remain atop the poll, while following UCLA in the top-five are Purdue (5-0), Kansas (3-0) and Duke (5-0).
Sitting sixth in the rankings are the Baylor Bears (4-0), who on Wednesday face the Arizona State Sun Devils.
ASU (2-2) has begun the year with wins over Portland and North Florida and losses to UC Riverside and San Diego State.