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First loss drops Gonzaga to fourth in AP poll, sixth in USA Today

UPDATED: Mon., Dec. 10, 2018, 7:32 p.m.

Gonzaga tumbled to fourth in the AP Top 25 men’s college basketball poll and all the way to sixth in the USA Today rankings, ending a two-week run at No. 1.

Tennessee (7-1) knocked the Zags (9-1) from the unbeaten ranks with a 76-73 win Sunday at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix.

Kansas, which was the AP preseason No. 1 but dropped to No. 2 despite not losing a game, returned to the top spot. The Jayhawks thumped Radford and edged New Mexico State to improve to 8-0.

Kansas picked up 57 of 65 first-place votes from the media panel. Duke, which lost to Gonzaga in the Maui Invitational championship, moved up to No. 2. Tennessee climbed from seventh to third, the program’s highest since reaching No. 1 in the 2007-08 season.

Gonzaga received one first-place vote and 1,412 points, nine behind the Volunteers and 14 points in front of No. 5 Michigan.

Virginia, Nevada, Auburn, Michigan State and Florida State rounded out the top 10.

More shuffling could be coming with the Jayhawks entertaining defending national champion Villanova, ranked 17th, on Saturday while the Zags visit No. 12 North Carolina (7-2) in Chapel Hill.

Duke doesn’t play until entertaining Princeton on Dec. 18. Virginia also has a 10-day break before facing South Carolina on Dec. 19. Michigan is home against Western Michigan on Saturday.

San Francisco of the WCC received five votes. The Dons (8-1) are off to the best start since the 1999-00 season.

Kentucky fell 10 spots to No. 19 while Kansas State dropped from 16th into a three-way tie for 25th with Indiana and Syracuse.

Kansas, Duke, Virginia, Tennessee and Michigan ranked atop the USA Today poll, with the Jayhawks receiving all but six first-place votes. Michigan received three, while Duke, Virginia and Gonzaga each received one.

It was tight for the fourth, fifth and sixth places. Tennessee had 696 points, Michigan 694 and Gonzaga 693.

Only nine unbeatens remain: Kansas, Nevada, Virginia, St. John’s, Houston, Michigan, Buffalo, Texas Tech and Furman.

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