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Arizona Wildcats Ascend to No. 1 in USA TODAY Sports Men's Basketball Poll

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Salman Khan
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Arizona Wildcats Ascend to No. 1 in USA TODAY Sports Men's Basketball Poll

In a thrilling turn of events, Arizona has secured the No. 1 position in the USA TODAY Sports men's basketball poll. It's the first time the Wildcats have achieved this status since January 27, 2014. Following Purdue's unexpected loss to Northwestern, the Wildcats ascended to the top rank, receiving 26 out of 32 first-place votes.

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Shifts in Rankings

Backing up Arizona's notable rise, Houston advanced to No. 2, thanks to five first-place votes. Their undefeated start to this season worked in their favor. Preseason No. 1 Kansas climbed to No. 3 after defeating the then fourth-ranked Connecticut. The final first-place vote was the cherry on top for Kansas.

Purdue, on the other hand, slipped to No. 4, and Connecticut moved down to the fifth position. The Big 12 conference demonstrated strength with Baylor at No. 6, joining two other teams from the same conference in the top six. Marquette slipped four spots to No. 7 after a loss to Wisconsin.

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Top Ten and Beyond

Completing the top 10 are Gonzaga, Florida Atlantic, and North Carolina. Colorado State achieved its highest ranking ever in coaches poll history, leaping to No. 12. Duke, however, experienced a significant drop, falling 14 places to No. 21. Miami (Fla.) also slipped to No. 15 after a substantial loss to Kentucky.

The ACC saw some positive movement with Clemson entering the poll at No. 20 and Virginia at No. 23. Oklahoma and Ohio State also made their entries into the rankings at No. 22 and No. 25, respectively.

Teams Exiting the Rankings

On the flip side, teams such as Villanova, Alabama, Mississippi State, and Michigan State fell out of the rankings post losses. The shifts in rankings underscore the volatile and competitive nature of the current basketball season.

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