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Sports >  Gonzaga basketball

Mixed results against ranked opponents drop Gonzaga to No. 6 in AP poll

Nov. 21, 2022 Updated Mon., Nov. 21, 2022 at 10:13 p.m.

Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Nolan Hickman (11), guard Malachi Smith (13), guard Julian Strawther (0) and forward Drew Timme (2) react during the second half of a college basketball game on Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022, in the Moody Center in Austin, TX. Texas won the game 93-74.  (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Nolan Hickman (11), guard Malachi Smith (13), guard Julian Strawther (0) and forward Drew Timme (2) react during the second half of a college basketball game on Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022, in the Moody Center in Austin, TX. Texas won the game 93-74. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

Gonzaga saw one Associated Press Top 25 streak come to an end but likely preserved another by clawing out a 88-72 win over Kentucky on Sunday.

The Bulldogs, who were dealt a double-digit loss at Texas last week before securing a double-digit win over Kentucky, dropped to No. 6 in the second edition of the Top 25 poll.

Prior to Monday, Gonzaga had spent 51 consecutive weeks inside the top-five of the AP Top 25 – the third-longest streak in poll history – but the Bulldogs managed to stay inside the top-10 for the 83rd straight week.

Texas, previously ranked No. 11, vaulted up to No. 4 in the new poll after beating Gonzaga 93-74 in Austin, while Kentucky dropped 11 places to No. 15 after losing to the Bulldogs and Michigan State. The Spartans, who lost 64-63 to Gonzaga on the USS Abraham Lincoln, moved up to No. 12 in the AP poll after improving to 3-1.

The Longhorns are one of five teams receiving No. 1 votes in this week’s poll. North Carolina remains at No. 1 followed by Houston, Kansas, Texas and Virginia.

The Bulldogs’ remaining nonconference schedule includes at least two more games against ranked opposition and could feature as many as four. Gonzaga now turns its attention to the Phil Knight Legacy in Portland, where the Bulldogs could face No. 24 Purdue in the second round and No. 8 Duke in the championship game. Xavier and West Virginia, two other potential opponents in Portland, are receiving Top 25 votes.

Baylor, which faces Gonzaga next week in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, dropped two spots to No. 7 in the poll after losing to Virginia and beating UCLA. Alabama, which improved to 4-0, remained at No. 18 in this week’s rankings approximately one month out from a matchup with the Bulldogs in Birmingham, Alabama.

Tennessee, which cruised to a 99-80 preseason exhibition win over Gonzaga in Frisco, Texas, stayed at No. 22 in the poll.

It may not be long before the Zags are joined in the poll by their longest-standing West Coast Conference rival. Saint Mary’s, which boasts an impressive 5-0 record, is second in line among teams receiving Top 25 votes.

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