Iowa is moving closer to the top of the Associated Press men's college basketball rankings.

The Hawkeyes jumped two spots in this week's poll, which was released late Monday morning. Iowa climbed from No. 5 to No. 3 following a pair of blow-out victories to open the season.

Coach Fran McCaffery's squad defeated North Carolina Central 97-67 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City Wednesday afternoon. The Hawkeyes followed the victory with a 103-76 thrashing of Southern on Friday, also at home.

Preseason Big Ten Conference and National Player of the Year Luka Garza averaged 33.5 points in the two wins, while making 25 of 29 shots. He scored 41 points in Friday's game, including 36 in the first half.

The Hawkeyes' next game is Thursday at 7 PM, when they host Western Illinois. Other non-conference opponents on Iowa's December schedule are No. 14 North Carolina (Big Ten/ACC Challenge on Dec. 8), Iowa State (Cy-Hawk Series on Dec. 11), Northern Illinois (Dec. 13), and No. 1 Gonzaga (at Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, S.D. on Dec. 19).

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