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Sports >  NCAA basketball

Gonzaga remains No. 1 in AP college basketball poll for ninth consecutive week

UPDATED: Mon., Jan. 18, 2021

Gonzaga head coach Mark Few talks to players during a timeout against San Francisco on Jan. 2.  (By Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga head coach Mark Few talks to players during a timeout against San Francisco on Jan. 2. (By Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

The holding pattern continues at the top of AP college basketball poll with Gonzaga entrenched at No. 1.

Gonzaga (14-0) received 62 of 64 first-place votes from the media panel, down one from last week after victories over Pepperdine and Saint Mary’s. The other two first-place votes went to Baylor, which puts its 12-0 record on the line against No. 9 Kansas on Monday night.

The Zags and Bears are 1-2 for the ninth straight week. Villanova, which hasn’t played since Dec. 23 due to COVID-19 protocols, remains third. The Wildcats are scheduled to face Seton Hall on Tuesday.

There’s been more fluctuation in the NET rankings with Baylor moving past the Bulldogs for the top spot. The NET rankings are one of the primary sorting and seeding tools used by the NCAA tournament selection committee.

Duke (5-3) dropped out of the AP rankings, ending a streak of 91 straight weeks dating back to Feb. 2016. Kansas has the longest active streak at 229 weeks, followed by Gonzaga’s 87.

It’s been a challenging year for several blue blood programs. According to ESPN Stats and Info, Monday’s AP poll is 1,213th in history and just the 14th time that Duke, North Carolina and Kentucky are all unranked. The last time it happened was Dec. 18, 1961.

Iowa, Texas, Tennessee, Michigan, Houston, Kansas and Wisconsin round out the top 10. Gonzaga has wins over No. 4 Iowa, No. 9 Kansas, No. 13 Virginia and No. 14 West Virginia.

In the USA Today rankings, No. 1 Gonzaga had 28 first-place votes and No. 2 Baylor received three, an increase on one from last week. The order of the top 10 is the same in the USA Today and AP polls.

Boise State, coached by former GU assistant Leon Rice, received 15 points in the AP poll and 28 in the coaches poll.

Gonzaga entertains Pacific (5-1, 2-0 WCC) on Saturday. The Tigers climbed to No. 75 in the NET after sitting at 151 last Monday. The rest of the WCC: BYU 32, Saint Mary’s 76, San Francisco 89, Loyola Marymount 107, Santa Clara 118, Pepperdine 188, San Diego 286 and Portland 290.

Washington State is 119 and Eastern Washington 139.

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