Purdue's reign atop the college basketball world continues, but there was plenty of movement just below the Boilermakers this past week.
Here’s everything you missed in Week 6 of the season, and the latest Associated Press men's college basketball poll.
Houston recovers after Alabama loss, knocks off Virginia
Houston is back on track.
Just a week after the Cougars blew a 15-point lead and dropped their first game of the season to Alabama, Houston rallied back to grab another top-5 win on Saturday. The Cougars held on to beat No. 2 Virginia 69-61 on Saturday in Charlottesville, bringing them to 11-1 on the season and officially handing the Cavaliers their first loss of the year.
Kelvin Sampson’s veteran group looked very solid throughout the matchup, too. After a tight first half that had them neck and neck at halftime, the Cougars broke open a double-digit lead almost instantly out of the break. They shot 50% from the field in the final 20 minutes, and completely shut down Virginia — something everyone else has failed at so far. Virginia couldn’t score more than four points in a row in the second half.
"I'm not sure we're able to do that without the Alabama experience," Sampson said. "You know, guys, they all think they're Superman. It's not about being a Superman, it's about playing on a super team."
The Cougars, who fell to No. 5 in the country after their loss to Alabama, jumped up to No. 3 in this week’s poll. Only Purdue, which claimed the top spot last week for the first time this season, and UConn are ahead of them. Virginia dropped four spots with its loss to No. 6.
While their loss to Alabama was a big blunder, the Cougars have once again proved they're a legitimate national title contender this season.
Arizona notches another huge win before Pac-12 play
The Pac-12 may have to run through Tucson after all.
Following their title in Hawaii and another big win over Indiana earlier this month, the Wildcats secured another huge resume builder on Saturday night. Arizona fended off a tough Tennessee team at the McKale Center to pull off a 75-70 win and improve to 10-1 on the season.
Azuolas Tubelis dropped 19 points and had nine rebounds in the win, and 7-foot center Oumar Ballo was a force inside with 18 points and eight rebounds of his own. The Wildcats, after entering the break tied, used a pair of big defensive stands in the second half — including a near-five minute stretch where they held Tennessee to just a single field goal — to snag the five-point win.
"In the second half I thought we kind of were a little more methodical and weren't as panicky," Arizona coach Tommy Lloyd said. "And listen, we got to get better. We got to get better offensively. I think this is going to be a great teaching tool for us, but to teach after a win versus Tennessee is a pretty good problem."
Arizona jumped up No. 5 in this week’s poll, up four spots. Tennessee fell two spots to No. 8.
Full AP Top 25
The full AP Top 25 poll from Monday, Dec. 19:
1. Purdue (11-0)
2. UConn (11-0)
3. Houston (11-1)
4. Kansas (10-1)
5. Arizona (10-1)
6. Virginia (8-1)
7. Texas (9-1)
8. Tennessee (9-2)
9. Alabama (9-2)
10. Arkansas (10-1)
11. Gonzaga (9-3)
12. Baylor (7-2)
13. UCLA (10-2)
14. Duke (10-2)
15. Mississippi State (11-0)
16. Illinois (8-3)
17. Wisconsin (9-2)
18. Indiana (8-3)
19. Kentucky (7-3)
20. TCU (9-1)
21. Virginia Tech (11-1)
22. Miami (11-1)
23. Auburn (9-2)
24. Marquette (9-3)
25. Arizona State (11-1)
Others receiving votes: Maryland 78, West Virginia 74, Xavier 71, Charleston 68, New Mexico 64, Memphis 59, North Carolina 36, Ohio State 33, Iowa State 26, Iowa 21, San Diego State 16, Utah State 10, Texas Tech 10, Michigan State 7, USC 7, Kansas State 5, Saint Mary's 1