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CBS Sports Graphic

UCLA advanced to the 2021 Final Four, returned every meaningful piece from the team that made that run, enrolled a five-star freshman, and, as a result of all of those things, found itself ranked second in the Associated Press Top 25 preseason poll.

It was a reasonable ranking.

But after the Bruins got rocked by Gonzaga in the sixth game of the season, went on a nearly four-week COVID pause, and then returned only to eventually lose a home game to a struggling Oregon team, some started to question whether UCLA was actually a legitimate title contender. And that's among the reasons Tuesday night's showdown with Arizona was such a huge deal for the Bruins -- because it provided them with an opportunity to launch themselves back into the national conversation. That's exactly what they did via an impressive 75-59 beatdown of Tommy Lloyd's Wildcats.

"This group of guys, we love these types of games; we love these big games and big matchups," UCLA star Johnny Juzang, who finished with 15 points, three rebounds and two assists, told reporters afterward. "Everybody battled."

The 16-point victory improved UCLA to 14-2 overall, 6-1 in the Pac-12 and 7-2 in the first two quadrants with three Quadrant 1 wins. With that resume, the Bruins are back up to No. 5 in Wednesday morning's updated CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 daily college basketball rankings. Their next game is Thursday against California. That'll be followed by a game with Stanford on Saturday. After that comes the rematch with Arizona that's scheduled for next Thursday at the McKale Memorial Center, where the Wildcats are 10-0 this season.

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Top 25 And 1 rankings

Biggest Movers
6 UCLA
6 Michigan State
Rk
Teams
 
Chg
Rcrd
1 Auburn Auburn is 9-1 in the first two quadrants and on a 16-game winning streak. The Tigers' next game is Saturday against Oklahoma. -- 28-6
2 Gonzaga Gonzaga has won eight straight games since losing to Alabama. The Zags' next game is Thursday against Loyola Marymount. -- 28-4
3 Baylor Baylor leads the nation with seven Quadrant 1 wins and is 10-2 in the first two quadrants. The Bears' next game is Saturday at Alabama. -- 27-7
4 Kansas Kansas is 10-2 in the first two quadrants with wins over Michigan State and Texas Tech. The Jayhawks' next game is Saturday against Kentucky. -- 34-6
5 UCLA UCLA is 7-2 in the first two quadrants thanks to a four-game winning streak highlighted by a victory over Arizona. The Bruins' next game is Thursday against California. 6 27-8
6 Arizona Arizona is 6-2 in the first two quadrants with the losses coming at Tennessee and at UCLA. The Wildcats' next game is Saturday against Arizona State. 1 33-4
7 Houston Houston's nine-game winning streak features seven double-digit victories. The Cougars' next game is Saturday at UCF. -- 32-6
8 Purdue Purdue is 6-3 in the first two quadrants with wins over Villanova and Illinois. The Boilermakers' next game is Thursday at Iowa. -- 29-8
9 Kentucky Kentucky is 5-4 in the first two quadrants with all four losses coming in Quadrant 1 games away from home. The Wildcats' next game is Saturday at Kansas. -- 26-8
10 Wisconsin Wisconsin is 10-3 in the first two quadrants with wins over Purdue, Houston, Ohio State and Marquette. The Badgers' next game is Thursday at Nebraska. -- 25-8
11 Villanova Villanova is 8-1 in its past nine games with the lone loss in that stretch coming to Marquette. The Wildcats' next game is Saturday against St. John's. 1 30-8
12 Michigan St. Michigan State is 10-2 in its past 12 games with a win over Wisconsin and losses to Northwestern and Illinois. The Spartans' next game is Saturday against Michigan. 6 23-13
13 Texas Tech Texas Tech is 6-5 in the first two quadrants with all five losses coming in Quadrant 1. The Red Raiders' next game is Saturday against Mississippi State. -- 27-10
14 Duke Duke is 5-3 in the first two quadrants with wins over Gonzaga and Kentucky and losses to Miami and Florida State. The Blue Devils' next game is Saturday at Louisville. -- 32-7
15 LSU LSU is 2-3 since losing Xavier Pinson to a knee injury that he's expected to return from soon. The Tigers' next game is Wednesday against Texas A&M. -- 22-12
16 USC USC's 6-2 record in the first two quadrants is highlighted by a win over San Diego State. The Trojans' next game is Thursday against Stanford. -- 26-8
17 Ohio St. Ohio State's 4-4 record in the first two quadrants includes zero losses outside of Quadrant 1. The Buckeyes' next game is Thursday at Minnesota. -- 20-12
18 Providence Providence's 3-1 Quadrant 1 record includes wins over Wisconsin and Texas Tech. The Friars' next game is Wednesday at Xavier. -- 27-6
19 BYU BYU is 7-1 in its past eight games with the lone loss in that stretch coming at Gonzaga. The Cougars' next game is Thursday at Santa Clara. -- 24-11
20 Marquette Marquette is 7-6 in the first two quadrants and on a six-game winning streak highlighted by victories over Villanova and Xavier. The Golden Eagles' next game is Wednesday at Seton Hall. -- 19-13
21 Xavier Xavier's 7-4 record in the first two quadrants includes five Quadrant 2 wins. The Musketeers' next game is Wednesday against Providence. -- 23-13
22 Tennessee Tennessee's 5-5 record in the first two quadrants includes zero losses outside of Quadrant 1. The Vols' next game is Wednesday against Florida. -- 27-8
23 Connecticut UConn is 4-4 in the first two quadrants and the only team with a win over Auburn. The Huskies' next game is Saturday at DePaul. -- 23-10
24 Iowa St. Iowa State is 2-5 in its past seven games but still above .500 in the first two quadrants. The Cyclones' next game is Wednesday at Oklahoma State. -- 22-13
25 Davidson Davidson is 3-2 in the first two quadrants and on a 15-game winning streak. The Wildcats' next game is Wednesday against VCU. -- 27-7
26 Colo. St. Colorado State is 4-1 in the first two quadrants with the lone loss coming at San Diego State. The Rams' next game is Friday against UNLV. -- 25-6