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Gonzaga Basketball
Sports >  Gonzaga basketball

Gonzaga ranked in 100th consecutive AP poll, but slips to fifth after loss to Alabama

UPDATED: Mon., Dec. 6, 2021

Gonzaga guard Nolan Hickman drives against Alabama’s JD Davison during Saturday’s 91-82 loss to the Crimson Tide in Seattle.  (Tyler Tjomsland/The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga guard Nolan Hickman drives against Alabama’s JD Davison during Saturday’s 91-82 loss to the Crimson Tide in Seattle. (Tyler Tjomsland/The Spokesman-Review)

Gonzaga reached a milestone in Monday’s AP college basketball poll, but it would have preferred to do it coming off a win.

The Zags (7-2) dropped two spots to No. 5, marking its 100th consecutive appearance in the top 25, after falling to Alabama 91-82 on Saturday at the Battle in Seattle. Gonzaga is the only program in the nation to be ranked in every AP poll since 2017. Villanova is next at 45 straight weeks.

The Zags’ average ranking is No. 5 in the last 100 polls. They’ve been No. 1 33 times, ranked in the top five 64 times and in the top 10 83 times. Duke is second with 18 weeks at No. 1 in that time frame. Kansas, is second behind GU with 61 top-five rankings and 79 top-10 rankings.

Purdue (8-0) climbed to the top spot for the first time in school history. The Boilermakers have wins over then-No. 18 North Carolina and No. 5 Villanova and routed Florida State 93-65.

The Boilermakers, who received all 61 first-place votes, are followed by Baylor, Duke and UCLA.

The Zags slipped from No. 1 to third after dropping an 84-81 thriller to Duke on Nov. 26 in Las Vegas. The Blue Devils moved up to No. 1, but their stay lasted one week after a road loss to Ohio State.

Gonzaga probably stayed in the top five because it dominated UCLA 83-63 when the Bruins were ranked No. 2 and handled Texas 86-74 when the Longhorns were No. 5. Texas is currently No. 7.

Alabama, which plunged six spots last week after losing to Iona, made the biggest jump in the latest poll, climbing seven spots to No. 9. The Crimson Tide leads seven ranked SEC teams. The Big Ten is next with five.

BYU suffered its first loss and had the week’s biggest fall, dropping from 12th to 24th. San Francisco, one of 12 remaining unbeaten teams, received 10 points, 10th among teams receiving votes.

Arizona, coached by former Zag assistant Tommy Lloyd, improved to 7-0 but remained at No. 11.

Gonzaga debuted at No. 8 in the NET rankings, one of the main metrics used by the selection committee to sort and seed the NCAA Tournament. Purdue is No. 1.

Top 100 NET rankings of teams Gonzaga has or will face: No. 10 Duke, No. 15 Alabama, No. 17 Texas, No. 24 BYU, No. 32 San Francisco, No. 33 UCLA, No. 38 Texas Tech, No. 55 Saint Mary’s and No. 71 Santa Clara.

The Zags remain No. 1 in KenPom’s ratings, followed by Purdue, Baylor, Houston, Kansas, Villanova, Duke, UCLA, Alabama and Tennessee.

Gonzaga faces Texas Tech (No. 20 KenPom) on Dec. 18 in Phoenix. The Zags entertain Merrimack (No. 243 NET, No. 236 KenPom) on Thursday and Washington, which hasn’t played since Nov. 27 due to COVID-19 issues, on Sunday. The Huskies are No. 149 in KenPom, No. 231 in NET.

ESPN’s Joe Lunardi’s latest bracketology came out Friday, the day before GU’s loss to Alabama.

Lunardi had Purdue as the top overall seed and Gonzaga still as a one seed.

The Zags also dropped to No. 5 in the USA Today poll. Purdue, which received 29 of 32 first-place votes, is the new No. 1, followed by Baylor, Duke and UCLA.

BYU is No. 23. Texas Tech had 29 points, fourth among teams receiving votes, and San Francisco had 21 points, sixth in that category.

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