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Gonzaga picks up more points but slips to seventh in AP poll

UPDATED: Mon., Feb. 26, 2018, 5:23 p.m.

Gonzaga head coach Mark Few looks on during the second half of the Zags’ win over San Diego last Thursday. (DENIS POROY / Associated Press)
Gonzaga head coach Mark Few looks on during the second half of the Zags’ win over San Diego last Thursday. (DENIS POROY / Associated Press)

One of Gonzaga’s better weeks of the regular season brought mixed results in the AP college basketball poll.

The Zags won road games against San Diego and BYU to clinch an outright WCC championship but they slipped from No. 6 to No. 7 when the latest poll was released Monday.

Gonzaga (27-4) shared sixth with Texas Tech last week. The Red Raiders dropped two games to fall six spots to No. 12. One of those losses was to Kansas, which also hammered Oklahoma, helping the Jayhawks clinch at least a share of their 14th straight Big 12 title and climb from No. 8 to No. 6.

The Zags actually picked up 25 more points than last week but the Jayhawks gained 106 points.

The top 10 avoided major changes, a rarity this season. ACC champion Virginia, with 48 first-place votes, strengthened its No. 1 ranking and Michigan State, with 18 first-place votes, stayed at No. 2.

Xavier and Villanova flip-flopped with the Muskateers moving up to third and the Wildcats dropping to fourth. Duke remained at No. 5.

Purdue, North Carolina and Cincinnati filled out the top 10 behind Kansas and Gonzaga. Texas Tech was the only team to fall out of the top 10. Cincinnati was the only top 10 newcomer and the Bearcats moved up only one spot.

Kansas also passed Gonzaga in the USA Today poll, dropping the Zags to seventh. GU lost nine points from last week. Virginia replaced Michigan State at No. 1 despite both teams posting unbeaten weeks.

Saint Mary’s, which finished second to Gonzaga in the WCC, is No. 22 in AP, No. 20 in USA Today.

NCAA Tournament projections continue to list Gonzaga in the 4-5 seed range. ESPN.com has No. 5 GU facing New Mexico State in San Diego. SI.com pegs Gonzaga as a four seed against Montana. Saint Mary’s was a seven-seed in CBSsports.com’s bracket, but a 10-seed in ESPN.com’s and SI.com’s.

The Zags are 4-3 against six teams – Villanova, Ohio State, Creighton, Texas, Florida and Saint Mary’s twice – in ESPN.com’s current bracket.

The Zags climbed to No. 28 in NCAA RPI. Saint Mary’s is No. 38 and BYU No. 89.

Gonzaga opens the WCC Tournament in a quarterfinal game on Saturday. Gonzaga will play the winner of Friday’s game between Loyola Marymount and Portland.


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