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Sports >  NCAA basketball

Gonzaga holds down top spot in AP poll for 10th straight week

UPDATED: Mon., Jan. 25, 2021

Gonzaga coach Mark Few lowers his mask as his team enters a timeout during Saturday’s win over Pacific.  (By Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga coach Mark Few lowers his mask as his team enters a timeout during Saturday’s win over Pacific. (By Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

Make it a perfect 10.

Ten weeks of the AP college basketball poll this season, 10 times Gonzaga has been ranked No. 1.

The Bulldogs (15-0, 6-0 WCC) have lost one first-place vote each of the last two weeks to second-ranked Baylor, but they still received 61 of the 64 overall from the media panel.

Gonzaga and Baylor (14-0) are the first preseason AP No. 1 and No. 2 teams to win their first 14 games, according to ESPN Stats and Info. The preseason poll debuted in 1961-62.

The Bears are No. 1 and the Zags No. 2 in the NET rankings, the NCAA’s primary seeding and sorting tool for the tournament. Their resumes are nearly identical at this point, but Baylor will have numerous Quad 1 and 2 opportunities the rest of the way with seven Big 12 Conference teams in the top 41.

The Zags are the lone team with six Quad 1 wins – Baylor has five – but they might have only one more chance against No. 28 BYU in Provo in the regular-season finale. No. 81 San Francisco, which entertains Gonzaga on Feb. 13, would have to move into the top 75 to count as a Quad 1.

Villanova remained No. 3 in the AP rankings, followed by Michigan, Texas, Houston, Iowa, Virginia, Alabama and Texas Tech. Alabama is in the top 10 for the first time since 1997.

Gonzaga has neutral-court wins over No. 7 Iowa, No. 8 Virginia, No. 11 West Virginia and No. 15 Kansas. Iowa was No. 3, Virginia No. 16, West Virginia No. 11 and Kansas No. 6 when they faced the Zags.

No. 23 UCLA is the only Pac-12 team ranked after Oregon dropped out of the top 25.

BYU (13-3, 4-1 WCC) returned to the receiving votes category with 11 points. The Cougars are in second place in the WCC and the only team with one loss.

The Zags visit San Diego (No. 257 in the NET) on Thursday and Pepperdine (No. 151) on Saturday. The rest of the WCC: No. 66 Saint Mary’s, No. 131 Loyola Marymount, No. 139 Santa Clara, No. 148 Pacific and No. 298 Portland.

Baylor faces Kansas State (No. 206) on Wednesday and steps out of conference against Auburn (No. 64) on Saturday.

The Zags thumped Auburn 90-67 on Nov. 27 in Fort Myers, Florida.

In the USA Today poll, No. 1 Gonzaga received 29 of 32 first-place votes. The other three first-place votes went to No. 2 Baylor.

The coaches’ poll top 10 mirrors the AP rankings with No. 3 Villanova followed by Michigan, Texas, Houston, Iowa, Virginia, Alabama and Texas Tech.

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