Gonzaga’s double-digit loss to Purdue on Friday dropped the Zags eight spots to No. 14 in the Associated Press college basketball poll.
The Zags (5-2) had been in the top 10 for 84 consecutive weeks dating back to Feb. 5, 2018. It was the fourth-longest top 10 stint in the history of the AP poll, which debuted in the 1948-49 season.
Gonzaga’s run of 52 consecutive polls in the top five ended a week ago following a 93-74 setback against Texas in Austin. The Zags have made 118 straight poll appearances. Gonzaga is the highest ranked two-loss team, three spots ahead of Duke, which fell from No. 8 to No. 17.
Texas and Purdue have soared in the rankings after knocking off Gonzaga. The Longhorns are No. 2 and Purdue, which handled West Virginia, Gonzaga and Duke to win the Phil Knight Legacy tournament, climbed 19 spots to No. 5.
Houston, led by former Washington State coach Kelvin Sampson, moved into the top spot for the first time since 1983. Virginia, guided by former WSU coach Tony Bennett, is third. Arizona, coached by former longtime Gonzaga assistant Tommy Lloyd, gained 10 spots to No. 6 after winning the Maui Invitational.
The schedule doesn’t get any easier for the Zags, who bounced back from the Purdue loss with an entertaining 88-84 victory over Xavier on Sunday. Gonzaga faces No. 6 Baylor on Friday in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and No. 11 Alabama on Dec. 17 in Birmingham.
Alabama, which shares No. 11 with Arkansas, went 2-1 at the PK Invitational, including a four-overtime thriller over then-No. 1 North Carolina. The Tar Heels tumbled to No. 18.
Gonzaga received 845 points, three behind No. 13 Tennessee, which defeated GU 99-80 in an exhibition game in late October.
The Zags have wins over No. 19 Kentucky and No. 20 Michigan State. Xavier, which was fifth among teams receiving votes outside the top 25 last week, didn’t receive a vote.
Saint Mary’s, which narrowly missed cracking the top 25 a week ago, didn’t receive a vote after suffering its first loss to Washington. The Gaels take on Houston in Fort Worth on Saturday.
Gonzaga is No. 12 in the USA Today coaches poll, just in front of No. 13 Tennessee and No. 14 Alabama. Baylor is No. 10. The top five, led by Houston, mirrors the AP top five. Xavier and Saint Mary’s both received eight points.
Gonzaga is ninth in KenPom.com’s rankings, one spot behind Baylor. The top seven are Texas, Houston, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, Connecticut and Purdue. Saint Mary’s is No. 25.
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