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Gonzaga remains at No. 11 in Associated Press Top 25 for third straight week

Gonzaga guard Nolan Hickman (11) leaves the court after the Zags defeated Yale 86-71 during a NCAA college basketball game, Friday, Nov. 10, 2023, in the McCarthey Athletic Center.  (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

At one point during Sunday’s press conference at the Maui Invitational, moderator Andy Katz noted the annual college basketball tournament was likely to feature five teams ranked in the top-10 of the Associated Press Top 25.

That was based off the presumption Gonzaga would crack the top-10 after No. 10 Florida Atlantic lost on Saturday to Bryant. Instead, AP voters rewarded Miami with the No. 10 ranking after the Hurricanes won three games last week while keeping Gonzaga at No. 11 after the Bulldogs picked up only one win, over NAIA Eastern Oregon.

The Zags did make a move into the top-10 in USA Today Coaches Poll, moving up two spots Monday while Miami stayed put at No. 11.

The rankings will shuffle by the time the next poll comes out, especially after three days at the Maui Invitational, which will feature No. 1 Kansas, No. 2 Purdue, No. 4 Marquette, No. 7 Tennessee and No. 11 Gonzaga.

Monday’s poll dropped fours before tipoff between the Boilermakers and Bulldogs in a first-round Maui Invitational game at the Stan Sheriff Center.

Gonzaga could play the seventh-ranked Volunteers or Syracuse on Tuesday before facing either top-ranked Kansas, fourth-ranked Marquette, UCLA (receiving votes) or Chaminade on Wednesday.

The full top-10 went as follows: No. 1 Kansas, No. 2 Purdue, No. 3 Arizona, No. 4 Marquette, No. 5 UConn, No. 6 Houston, No. 7 Tennessee, No. 8 Creighton, No. 9 Duke and No. 10 Miami.

Two of Gonzaga’s future opponents went in opposite directions after dropping out of the AP poll last week. San Diego State, which will visit Spokane for a post-Christmas nonconference matchup on Dec. 31, made up some ground at the Continental Tire Main Event in Las Vegas, beating Saint Mary’s and Washington.

The Aztecs came fourth among teams receiving AP Top 25 votes when Monday’s poll was released.

Saint Mary’s, meanwhile, continued to plummet after a home loss to Weber State on Nov. 12. The Gaels are still receiving votes in the Coaches Poll, but not in the AP Top 25 after losing consecutive games to SDSU (79-54) and Xavier (66-49) at the Las Vegas tournament.

Three of Gonzaga’s other nonleague opponents are still in good shape when it comes to their position in the Top 25.

USC tumbled seven spots but managed to remain in the poll, at No. 23, after the Trojans split games against UC Irvine and Brown, losing to the Anteaters 70-60. The Zags and Trojans will play a neutral-site game on Dec. 2 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. 

UConn, which will travel to Seattle to play Gonzaga in a neutral-site game at Climate Pledge Arena, stayed put at No. 5 in the AP poll while Kentucky moved up one spot to No. 16. The Bulldogs are traveling to Lexington on Feb. 10 for a road nonconference game against the Wildcats.