Gonzaga remains undisturbed while teams continue flying up and down the AP college basketball rankings.
The 12th-ranked Zags stayed in place for the third straight week after a wild 89-83 overtime victory over visiting North Dakota on Saturday. Gonzaga avoided taking a plunge in the poll by escaping an eight-point deficit in the final 3:30.
No. 1 Villanova, an 88-72 winner over the Zags in New York on Dec. 5, earned 45 first-place votes and is comfortably ahead of No. 2 Michigan State.
Arizona State, with five first-place votes, improved two spots to No. 3, matching the highest ranking in program history. The Sun Devils (10-0) reached No. 3 in 1983 and 1961. ASU has gone from not receiving a single vote to No. 3 in four weeks.
Duke remained No. 4, followed by ACC rival and defending national champion North Carolina.
The Zags dropped two spots to No. 15 in the USA Today rankings. GU received 357 points, just four in front of No. 16 Purdue. Saint Mary’s received three votes in the coaches’ poll.
Miami, Kentucky, Texas A&M, Xavier and West Virginia rounded out the AP top 10. Xavier trailed by as many as 22 points before rallying past East Tennessee State.
Wichita State, which lost to Oklahoma, dropped from third to 11th. The victory moved the Sooners into the poll at No. 17.
The Shockers received 851 points, 20 more than Gonzaga. Virginia is No. 13, 35 points behind Gonzaga.
The Zags’ point totals have gone from 856 to 805 to 831 in the last weeks.
Florida, which reached No. 5 shortly after a double-overtime win of the Zags in Portland, has lost four games and has dropped out of the top 25. The Gators received just two votes.
The USA Today’s top five is Villanova, Michigan State, Duke, Arizona State and North Carolina.
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