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Gonzaga Basketball

Gonzaga stays at No. 11, Saint Mary’s and San Diego State drop out of AP rankings

Gonzaga’s Ben Gregg, left, points at forward Braden Huff when Huff was named player of the game in the Zags’ season-opening win over Yale on Friday. Huff finished with 19 points and nine rebounds.  (By Colin Mulvany/The Spokesman-Review)

Gonzaga stayed put at No. 11, but West Coast Conference rival Saint Mary’s and December opponent San Diego State tumbled out of the Associated Press rankings after suffering losses.

The Zags opened Friday with an 86-71 win over Yale, which had received one vote in the preseason USA Today coaches’ poll. Gonzaga entertains NAIA Eastern Oregon on Tuesday before facing Purdue, which moved up one spot to No. 2, on Monday, at the Maui Invitational .

Tennessee, which climbed from ninth to seventh, is a potential second-round matchup for the Zags. The Volunteers face Syracuse on Monday. Potential third-day foes for GU include No. 1 Kansas, No. 4 Marquette or UCLA, fourth in the receiving votes category.

Saint Mary’s, No. 23 in the preseason rankings, lost at home to Weber State 61-57. The Gaels received 20 votes, eighth among teams receiving votes. San Diego State, 17th in the initial poll, dropped out following a 74-65 road setback to BYU. The Aztecs visit the McCarthey Athletic Center on Dec. 29.

Arizona, led by former Gonzaga assistant coach Tommy Lloyd, knocked off Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium and soared from No. 12 to No. 3. Duke slipped seven spots to No. 9. Boise State, guided by ex-Zags assistant Leon Rice, received one vote.

Kansas received 51 of 62 first-place votes from the media panel to stay at No. 1. Purdue had seven first-place votes and Arizona had three. Marquette, UConn ( which faces Gonzaga on Dec. 15 in Seattle), Houston, Tennessee, Creighton, Duke and Florida Atlantic rounded out the top 10.

The Zags also will face No. 16 USC (Dec. 2 in Las Vegas) and No. 17 Kentucky (Feb. 10 in Lexington).

The SEC leads the way with five ranked teams. The Big 12 and Big East each have four.

Gonzaga remained No. 12 in the USA Today poll while Saint Mary’s slipped just one spot to No. 24. Kansas, Purdue, Arizona, UConn, Marquette, Houston, Creighton, Tennessee, Duke and Florida Atlantic complete the top 10.

The Zags are No. 5, behind No. 1 Purdue, Houston, Kansas and UConn in KenPom’s ratings. Gonzaga is seeded third in the South Region in ESPN’s latest bracketology. Boise State is the first team out.