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Gonzaga moves up to 14 in AP poll, Gaels climb into 13th spot

UPDATED: Mon., Jan. 29, 2018, 4:46 p.m.

The Gonzaga defense, including Zach Norvell Jr., Johnathan Williams and Killian Tillie, puts pressure on San Francisco guard Frankie Ferrari in Saturday’s win. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
The Gonzaga defense, including Zach Norvell Jr., Johnathan Williams and Killian Tillie, puts pressure on San Francisco guard Frankie Ferrari in Saturday’s win. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

Gonzaga’s 2-0 week bumped the Zags up one spot to No. 14 in the AP college basketball poll.

Saint Mary’s 2-0 week, which included a 75-62 win over BYU, pushed the Gaels past the Zags to No. 13. Saint Mary’s (21-2, 10-0 WCC) was 16th last week.

Saint Mary’s picked up 753 points to Gonzaga’s 750, the same point differential in the Gaels’ 74-71 win over GU a couple of weeks ago in Spokane. The rematch is Feb. 10 at Saint Mary’s.

The top four remained the same. Villanova is No. 1 for the fourth straight week, followed by Virginia, Purdue and Duke. Michigan State climbed one spot to fifth, replacing Kansas, which lost to No. 12 Oklahoma.

Virginia posted a huge road win over Duke on Saturday. The outcome didn’t change Virginia’s or Duke’s rankings, but the Cavaliers went from receiving one first-place vote to 17. The Blue Devils lost 67 points.

Virginia also knocked off No. 18 Clemson, dropping the Tigers to No. 20. The Cavaliers were last ranked No. 1 in the 1981-82 season with star center Ralph Sampson.

Xavier, Kansas, Cincinnati, Arizona and Texas Tech rounded out the top 10. Arizona is back in the top 10 for the first time since late November.

In the USA Today poll, Gonzaga moved up three spots to No. 12 while Saint Mary’s jumped four spots to No. 14. Villanova holds down the top spot but Virginia is closing the gap.

A survey of bracket predictions shows how closely Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s are perceived nationally. ESPN.com projects the two WCC powers as seven seeds. NBCsports.com lists GU and SMC as six seeds with the Zags facing the SMU/Boise State winner and the Gaels taking on Washington. CBSsports.com has the Zags and Gaels as five seeds.

The Zags (19-4, 9-1) are 57 in NCAA RPI. Saint Mary’s is 31 and BYU, which visits Gonzaga on Saturday, is 69. San Diego, GU’s opponent on Thursday, is 142.

In addition to Villanova and Saint Mary’s, other ranked Gonzaga opponents include No. 17 Ohio State and No. 23 Florida. Creighton is receiving votes.


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