Gonzaga stayed at No. 17 in the AP college basketball poll, but it’s a tad stronger 17 than a week ago.
Gonzaga was No. 18 with 500 points in the preseason poll.
Duke maintained its hold on No. 1 with 54 first-place votes and 1,613 points. Arizona and Kansas both moved up one spot to second and third, respectively. Michigan State dropped from second to fourth after losing to Duke 88-81 in the Champions Classic. Villanova, Gonzaga’s opponent Dec. 5 in New York City, stayed at No. 5.
Arizona is the only team beside Duke to receive first-place votes (11).
Gonzaga moved up two spots to No. 17 while the Gaels climbed one position to No. 21 in the first regular-season USA Today poll.
Poll movement has been minimal in the first two weeks of the season, but that could change this week with several high-powered holiday tournaments.
Gonzaga faces Ohio State on Thanksgiving Day in its opener of the two-bracket, 16-team PK80 in Portland. The Maui Invitational, featuring No. 6 Wichita State and No. 13 Notre Dame, begins Monday. No. 2 Arizona, No. 5 Villanova and No. 18 Purdue highlight the the Battle 4 Atlantis field.
No. 23 UCLA tangles with Creighton and No. 22 Baylor faces Wisconsin on Monday at the Hall of Fame Classic in Kansas City. Creighton, which visits Gonzaga on Dec. 1, is receiving votes.
Florida, a possible GU opponent Friday in the PK80, moved past SEC rival Kentucky to No. 7. The Wildcats fell to eighth after losing to Kansas at the Champions Classic. Defending national champion North Carolina is No. 9 and USC is No. 10, the Pac-12’s second top 10 team.
Alabama joined the rankings at No. 25 while Northwestern, routed by Texas Tech, dropped out of the poll.
The USA Today’s top five: No. 1 Duke, No. 2 Kansas, No. 3 Villanova, No. 4 Arizona, No. 5 Michigan State.
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