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Sports >  NCAA basketball

Michigan replaces Baylor at No. 2 in AP Top 25 poll behind top-ranked Gonzaga

UPDATED: Mon., March 1, 2021

Gonzaga’s Jalen Suggs dives for the ball against Loyola Marymount’s Joe Quintana during the second half of GU’s 86-69 win Saturday at the Kennel.  (By Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga’s Jalen Suggs dives for the ball against Loyola Marymount’s Joe Quintana during the second half of GU’s 86-69 win Saturday at the Kennel. (By Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

It took 15 weeks, but it’s no longer Gonzaga and Baylor 1-2 in the AP college basketball poll.

It’s still Gonzaga comfortably in the top spot, but Michigan moved up to second after Baylor’s first loss of the season Saturday at Kansas.

The Zags received 59 first-place votes, down one from last Monday. The Wolverines had four first-place votes and trail GU by 59 points. Baylor, which has struggled since returning from a lengthy COVID-19 pause, dropped to third, followed by Illinois, Iowa, West Virginia, Ohio State, Alabama, Houston and Villanova.

Gonzaga was ranked No. 1 in the preseason poll by one point over Baylor. Michigan was No. 25.

Eighteen teams in last week’s AP poll lost at least once. Ohio State, Oklahoma and USC dropped two games.

BYU was just outside the top 25 with 101 points, five behind No. 25 Wisconsin.

Michigan (18-1) climbed to No. 2 behind Gonzaga (24-0) in the NET rankings, the NCAA’s sorting and seeding tool. Baylor, Houston and Iowa complete the top five. It’s the same order in KenPom’s rankings. BYU is 20th in the NET and 22nd in KenPom.

Gonzaga is favored to win the national championship with 5/2 odds, according to BetOnline. The Zags were 11/4 a month ago. Michigan, 9/1 a month ago, is now at 7/2. Baylor is next at 4/1.

The Zags have a 28.6% chance of finishing the season undefeated, according to SportsBetting.com.

CBSsports.com projects Gonzaga, Michigan, Baylor and Illinois as the top four seeds in order, followed by Iowa, West Virginia, Ohio State and Alabama on the two line. BYU is listed as an eight seed.

Gonzaga has wins over No. 5 Iowa, No. 6 West Virginia, No. 13 Kansas and No. 21 Virginia.

In the USA Today poll, Gonzaga was nearly a unanimous No. 1 with 31 of 32 first-place votes. The other first-place vote went to new No. 2 Michigan. Baylor was third, Illinois fourth and West Virginia fifth. BYU received 25 points, tied for 28th with UCLA.

The Zags don’t play until next Monday in the WCC Tournament semifinals in Las Vegas.

Michigan has a showdown with Illinois on Tuesday and back-to-back matchups with rival Michigan State on Thursday and Sunday.

Baylor faces No. 6 West Virginia on Tuesday, No. 17 Oklahoma State on Thursday and No. 18 Texas Tech on Sunday.

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