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Gonzaga climbs preseason polls, listed among title contenders

UPDATED: Fri., June 1, 2018, 8:24 p.m.

The college basketball season is five months away, but Gonzaga isn’t standing still in the polls or the opinion of Las Vegas oddsmakers.

Way-too-early polls and national championship odds have been updated after the deadline passed earlier this week for players to declare their NBA Draft intentions.

The Zags have climbed as high as No. 2 in’s and FanRag Sports’ latest rankings. Gonzaga is ranked No. 3 by Yahoo! Sports, No. 4 by ESPN and No. 5 by

Those five outlets have Kansas at No. 1. ESPN, and Yahoo! put Duke at No. 2.

Gonzaga was projected as high as No. 5 when the first preseason polls were released shortly after Villanova defeated Michigan for the national championship in early April.

Draft decisions prompted major changes in several polls. Villanova slipped from No. 2 to No. 10 in ESPN’s poll after Donte DiVincenzo and Omari Spellman opted to remain in the draft. Nevada jumped up three spots to No. 6 with the return of the Martin brothers, Cody and Caleb.

Gonzaga and Kentucky have the fourth-best odds, at 10-1, of winning the national championship, according to The Zags were 20-1 on April 3. In the ensuing eight days, forwards Killian Tillie and Rui Hachimura announced they were returning to Gonzaga.

Bovada lists Duke at 11-2, Kansas 8-1 and Villanova 9-1.

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Gonzaga’s Rui Hachimura scores 25 points in Japan’s World Cup victory

UPDATED: 7:58 p.m.

Rui Hachimura led the way Monday, scoring 25 points as Japan picked up another huge win, 75-60 over Iran, in the FIBA World Cup Asian qualifiers. Hachimura, Gonzaga’s 6-foot-8 junior forward, filled out the stat sheet with seven rebounds, three assists, two blocks and two steals at sold-out Ota City General Gymnasium in Tokyo.