The season-long shakeup continues in the Associated Press rankings, but not at the top.
Gonzaga remains No. 2 for the third straight week, but keeps losing ground to top-ranked Baylor. The Zags trail the Bears by 41 points. The margin was 26 last week.
Gonzaga lost four first-place votes while the Bears gained five compared to last Monday’s poll.
Kansas and San Diego State stayed at No. 3 and No. 4, respectively. Losses by Florida State, Villanova and Seton Hall shook up the lower half of the top 10. The Seminoles dropped from fifth to eighth and Villanova slipped two spots to No. 10. The Pirates dropped two places to 12th.
It was a similar story in the USA poll as No. 1 Baylor bumped its lead over No. 2 Gonzaga from two points to 12. The Bears picked up four first-place votes for 19 overall while the Zags lost five for 12 overall.
BYU, which knocked off Saint Mary’s, received 14 points in the AP poll and two in the coaches poll.
Baylor (19-1) visits Kansas State (9-12) tonight and entertains Oklahoma State (10-11) on Saturday. The Zags (23-1, 9-0 West Coast Conference) entertain Loyola Marymount (8-15, 2-7) on Thursday before Saturday’s showdown with Saint Mary’s (19-5, 6-3) in Moraga, California.
Meanwhile, a few bracket projections listed an interesting first-round opponent for Gonzaga: Eastern Washington. The Zags thumped EWU 112-77 at the McCarthey Athletic Center in December. The Eagles are first in the Big Sky standings at 7-2 entering tonight’s road game versus Northern Arizona.
CBSsports.com’s Jerry Palm lists Gonzaga as the top seed in the Midwest Region, opening against EWU at the Spokane Arena. NCAA.com’s Andy Katz has the same first-round matchup at the same site but Gonzaga as the top seed in the West.
It’s technically possible, but the selection committee tries to avoid regular-season rematches between nonconference teams in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament, preferring to push those potential matchups back to the second weekend.
Gonzaga is the No. 1 seed in the East, but staying in Spokane to face the winner of Monmouth and Robert Morris, according to ESPN’s Joe Lunardi’s bracket last Wednesday. NBCsports.com lists Gonzaga at No. 1 in the West, opening against UC Irvine in Spokane.
Those are all best guesses, of course. A more accurate picture will come Saturday with the NCAA selection committee’s bracket reveal. The top 16 seeds will be announced live on CBS at 9:30 a.m.
The Zags remain No. 3 in the NCAA’s NET rankings, behind No. 1 San Diego State and No. 2 Baylor. BYU is No. 26 and Saint Mary’s No. 33.
Kansas, Dayton, Duke, Louisville, Arizona, West Virginia and Michigan State round out the top 10.
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