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Sports >  Gonzaga basketball

Gonzaga moves to No. 4 in AP, USA Today polls

Jan. 16, 2017 Updated Mon., Jan. 16, 2017 at 8:17 p.m.

Gonzaga coach Mark Few yells instructions to his team against Saint Mary’s, Jan. 14, 2017, in the McCarthey Athletic Center. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga coach Mark Few yells instructions to his team against Saint Mary’s, Jan. 14, 2017, in the McCarthey Athletic Center. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

There isn’t a consensus at the top of the college basketball polls but there is on Gonzaga.

The Zags are No. 4 in the AP and USA Today rankings. They received first-place votes for the first time this season, picking up two of the 65 available in AP and three of the 32 in the coaches’ poll.

Villanova, No. 3 last week, climbed over Kansas and back into the AP top spot it held for five weeks earlier this season. Kansas had more first-place votes (32) than the Wildcats (28), but Villanova received 18 more points than the second-ranked Jayhawks. UCLA (18-1) moved up to No. 3.

Kansas, 17-1 through Monday and riding a 17-game winning streak, took over the top spot in the USA Today poll, earning 23 first-place votes. Defending national champion Villanova (18-1) is No. 2, followed by UCLA. Kentucky is No. 5 in both polls.

The Zags (17-0) moved past Baylor, which dropped from first to sixth. Those two teams started out last week as Division I’s only unbeatens but the Bears were pounded by West Virginia.

Every week has been an unbeaten week for Gonzaga this season, but some unbeaten weeks are better than others. The Zags routed Loyola Marymount and rival Saint Mary’s to take over first place in the WCC.

The Gaels (15-2) dropped two spots to No. 23 in both polls.

Gonzaga’s wins over Arizona and Florida earlier this season are looking better each week. The Wildcats (16-2) jumped up two spots in AP to No. 14. Florida (14-3) improved four spots to No. 19.

The Zags also hold wins over Iowa State and Akron. The Cyclones received five votes and Akron one in the AP poll.

Duke dropped from seventh to 18th after losing twice last week.

Kansas, Baylor and West Virginia of the Big 12 Conference occupy three of the top seven AP spots. Minnesota and Kansas State both suffered losses and dropped out of the rankings after making their first appearances of the season last week.

South Carolina and Maryland joined the USA Today rankings, replacing Minnesota and USC. Northwestern narrowly missed out being ranked for the first time in the coaches’ poll.

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