PORTLAND, Ore. -- Oregon's surprising 27-point blowout of fifth-ranked Arizona on Saturday must have impressed Associated Press voters, because the Ducks made the biggest jump in the latest Top 25 rankings, leaping eight spots to No. 5 in the latest poll.
It's the highest Oregon has been ranked since they were No. 4 in the second poll of the season.
Ranked ahead of the Ducks (21-3, 10-1 Pac-12) in the AP poll are Gonzaga (24-0), Villanova (22-2), Kansas (20-3) and Louisville (19-4).
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The Ducks' 85-58 win against Arizona was particularly impressive considering Oregon was coming off two games in which they didn't play well, a loss to Colorado and a 1-point win against Arizona State.
Oregon is tied with Arizona atop the Pac-12 standings. If the Ducks had lost Saturday, falling two games behind the Wildcats would have put Oregon's conference title defense in jeopardy.
“We have a much tougher schedule (remaining) than what (Arizona has),” Oregon coach Dana Altman told the Statesman Journal after Saturday's game.
“We had to win today. I told the guys that this morning, I said, ‘Look fellas, to be honest, we’ve got to win the game today or it’s over.’ And really, it would have been. Like I said, we still got our work cut out for us.”
This week, the Ducks will play two challenging road games in southern California, with a Thursday game against UCLA (21-3, 8-3) before facing USC (20-4, 7-4) on Saturday.
The Ducks also made a big jump in the USA Today Coaches poll, moving up seven spots to No. 6.