Gonzaga lost for the first time since late November, but the Zags were largely unscathed in the polls, NET rankings and bracket projections.
Thanks to an upset-filled Saturday – three of the top four lost, including the Bulldogs falling to BYU 91-78 – Gonzaga slipped just one spot to No. 3 in Monday’s AP Top 25.
Kansas ended Baylor’s five-week run at No. 1 with a 64-61 win in Waco, Texas. The Jayhawks returned to the top spot for the first time since a one-week stay in December. As if to celebrate their ascension, the Jayhawks blew past Oklahoma State 83-58 on Monday night.
Baylor dropped to No. 2. San Diego State, which lost to UNLV, dropped from fourth to fifth, behind Dayton. Florida State, Duke, Kentucky, Maryland and Creighton rounded out the top 10.
Gonzaga (27-2) received 1,442 points, 90 behind Baylor and 29 in front of Dayton. Kansas collected 62 of 64 first-place votes with the other two going to Baylor.
BYU soared six spots to No. 17.
Gonzaga remained No. 3 in the NET rankings, behind Kansas and Baylor. BYU is No. 14, Saint Mary’s No. 32 and San Francisco No. 97.
The Zags held on to the No. 1 seed in the West, according to ESPN’s Joe Lunardi and CBS Sports’ Jerry Palm. In fact, all four No. 1 seeds – Kansas, Baylor, Gonzaga and San Diego State – stayed on the one line despite Saturday’s results.
San Diego State remains the top seed in the East in ESPN’s and CBS Sports’ brackets.
Lunardi projects Gonzaga opening in Spokane against the winner of Prairie View A&M and Saint Peter’s. Palm predicts Prairie View A&M or Sienna as Gonzaga’s first-round opponent.
Lunardi lists BYU as a six seed and Saint Mary’s as an eight. Palm projects BYU as a six and Saint Mary’s as a nine.
Saturday’s loss didn’t have a dramatic impact on the Zags’ standing in the rankings or projections, but it shrinks their margin for error going forward. They missed an opportunity to put some distance between themselves and San Diego State for the West’s top seed.
Dayton, Duke, Florida State and others probably narrowed the gap on Gonzaga and San Diego State. Several bracketologists were prepared to move Maryland past San Diego State before the Terrapins lost to Ohio State on Sunday.
The Zags dropped two spots to No. 4 in the USA Today poll, behind Kansas, Baylor and Dayton. The Flyers have a 19-point edge over Gonzaga.
BYU is No. 18 and Saint Mary’s received seven points.
Gonzaga closes the regular season with home games against San Diego on Thursday and Saint Mary’s on Saturday.
Kansas faces Oklahoma State tonight and Kansas State on Saturday. Baylor meets Kansas State on Tuesday and TCU on Saturday.
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