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Gonzaga Basketball

Zags climb to No. 2 in college basketball polls

Gonzaga guard Josh Perkins deflects an inbounds pass from Saint Mary’s forward Dane Pineau in their WCC title game, Tuesday, March 7, 2017, at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. Dan Pelle/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

Gonzaga climbed two spots to No. 2 in both major college basketball polls.

Defending national champion Villanova (31-3) moved into the top spot as Kansas, which lost in the Big 12 tournament quarterfinals, dropped from first to third.

The Zags (32-1) also moved past UCLA, which fell from No. 3 to No. 8 in the AP rankings after losing to Arizona in the Pac-12 tournament semifinals.

Arizona is No. 4, followed by North Carolina, Kentucky, Duke, UCLA, Oregon and Louisville.

Villanova received first-place votes and 1,619 points in AP’s final poll of the season. Gonzaga picked up six first-place votes and 1,520 points.

In the USA Today rankings, Villanova earned 27 of 30 first-place votes. Gonzaga had one first-place vote and 691 points, just ahead of No. 3 Kansas (two first-place votes and 687 points).

Arizona, Kentucky, UCLA, Duke, North Carolina, Oregon and Louisville rounded out the top 10 in the coaches’ poll.

The NCAA tournament seeding followed the rankings fairly closely with Villanova as the top overall seed and Gonzaga and Kansas also No. 1 seeds. North Carolina is the fourth No. 1 while Arizona is No. 2 in the West.

The Zags will face 16th-seeded South Dakota State in the first round Thursday in Salt Lake City.

Gonzaga had the second longest stint at AP No. 1, spending four weeks at the top before falling to BYU in the regular-season finale. Villanova has been No. 1 for eight weeks.

Villanova and Kansas are the only teams to be ranked in the top 10 every week. Gonzaga is one of 15 teams to be ranked all season. The Zags were 14th in the preseason poll.

Saint Mary’s slipped three spots to AP No. 22 after losing to Gonzaga in the WCC tournament title game.