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Gonzaga remains at No. 4 in Associated Press Top 25 poll

Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Nolan Hickman (11) reacts against the Texas Tech Red Raiders during the first half of a college basketball game on Saturday, Dec 18, 2021, at Footprint Center in Phoenix, Ariz.  (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

Gonzaga will have to wait until the new year to make any more headway in the Associated Press Top 25 poll.

On the heels of a slow week for college basketball, the Bulldogs didn’t move up or down in the AP Top 25, holding onto the No. 4 ranking in the eighth poll of the 2021-22 season.

So far this season, Gonzaga has spent three weeks at No. 1, one week at No. 3, two weeks at No. 5 and now two weeks at No. 4.

The Bulldogs (10-2) played just a single game last week, thumping Northern Arizona 95-49 on Dec. 20, and have one more nonconference game on Tuesday at home against North Alabama before opening West Coast Conference play two days later at San Diego.

There was no movement inside the top five, which also consists of No. 1 Baylor, No. 2 Duke, No. 3 Purdue and No. 5 UCLA.

Former Zag assistant Tommy Lloyd and Arizona dropped from No. 6 to No. 9 after absorbing their first loss of the season at No. 14 Tennessee, and Alabama fell from No. 10 to No. 19 after a one-point loss to Davidson.

With the omicron variant of COVID-19 sweeping across the country and most teams also on holiday break, the country’s top 25 teams played only 17 games this week with eight of them not playing at all.

No. 5 UCLA has only played three games since its November showdown against Gonzaga in Las Vegas and none since Dec. 11, due to COVID-19 issues within the Bruins’ program. It’s unclear when UCLA will play next with games against Stanford (Jan. 6) and California (Jan. 8) now in jeopardy due to recent COVID-19 cases with both programs.

On Monday it was also learned another of Gonzaga’s nonconference foes, Duke, has canceled games against Clemson and Notre Dame this week due to COVID-19 issues within the Blue Devils’ program.