Gonzaga barely hung on to a top-10 ranking in USA Today’s final college basketball poll.
The Zags (32-5), who were No. 8 in USA Today’s March 5 rankings, dropped a couple of spots after going 2-1 in the NCAA Tournament.
Gonzaga finished in the top 10 of the coaches’ poll for the third time in the last four seasons. The Zags were No. 2 in 2017 and No. 6 in 2015.
The Zags earned 476 points, three in front of No. 11 Michigan State, which slipped six spots after falling to Syracuse in the round of 32.
National champion Villanova (36-4) received all 32 first-place votes. The Wildcats thumped Gonzaga 88-72 in December in New York City.
Runner-up Michigan (33-8) climbed five spots to No. 2. Kansas held on to the third spot, followed by Duke and Virginia, which became the first No. 1 seed to fall to a 16 in NCAA Tournament history.
Texas Tech was sixth, followed by Loyola-Chicago, which soared 21 positions after reaching the Final Four. Xavier finished eighth and Purdue was ninth.
Florida State, which knocked off Gonzaga in the Sweet 16, climbed 18 positions to finish at No. 18.
Saint Mary’s dropped from No. 23 to receiving six votes, the same number as Maryland-Baltimore County, which sprung the first-round upset over Virginia.
The ACC had two teams in the top five and five programs in the top 25. The Big 12, Big Ten and SEC each had four representatives.
No. 20 Nevada and Gonzaga were the only western teams in the final poll. The Pac-12’s Arizona dropped from 15th to second in the “receiving votes” category after losing its NCAA Tournament opener to Buffalo. Utah, which advanced to the NIT final, picked up four votes.
Gonzaga was No. 8 in the final AP poll released March 12.
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