Gonzaga has climbed back into the top 10 in the Associated Press men’s college basketball poll with a five-game winning streak.
The Zags slipped to No. 18 in early December after falling to Baylor in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. They’ve responded with wins over Kent State, Washington, Northern Illinois, then No. 4 Alabama and Montana.
The top five – Purdue, Connecticut, Houston, Kansas and Arizona – remained the same in the media poll. Texas, which thumped Gonzaga in November in Austin, is No. 6, followed by the Southeastern Conference’s Tennessee, Alabama and Arkansas.
Baylor is No. 12. Kentucky, which lost to GU 88-72 at the Spokane Arena, is No. 19. Xavier, which fell 88-84 to the Zags at the PK85 when the Musketeers were receiving votes, shares No. 22 with New Mexico.
The Zags (10-3) also edged Michigan State, which received seven points in the latest poll, in San Diego. The next highest three-loss team behind Gonzaga is No. 16 Indiana (10-3).
Gonzaga returns to action Wednesday against Eastern Oregon before entertaining Pepperdine on Saturday to open West Coast Conference play. GU’s second WCC game is Jan. 5 on the road against San Francisco, which received one point in the poll after crushing then No. 25 Arizona State 97-60.
There was minimal movement in the top 10 with light schedules during the holiday break, but that figures to change as conference play heats up.
The Zags moved up one spot to No. 12 in the NCAA NET rankings in the last week. Saint Mary’s is 16, San Francisco 88, Santa Clara 96, Loyola Marymount 99, BYU 130, Pepperdine 134 and Portland 144.
Gonzaga was projected as a three seed (12th overall) in ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi’s latest seed list. Saint Mary’s is an eight seed and 31st overall.
Purdue, Connecticut, Kansas and Arizona are the top four seeds.
The Zags are No. 11 in the USA Today coaches’ poll. Saint Mary’s received five points.
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