Gonzaga remains No. 1, Villanova climbs to No. 2
Gonzaga remained No. 1 in both major polls after its two closest pursuers dropped games in another upset-filled week of college basketball.
Still, it got closer at the top.
Gonzaga’s 90-point lead over Baylor in the AP Top 25 last week shrunk to 54 over new No. 2 Villanova.
In the USA Today poll, Gonzaga holds a 23-point edge over the defending national champion Wildcats. The Zags were 36 points in front of former No. 2 Kansas a week ago.
The Zags (24-0) picked up 59 of AP’s 65 first-place votes and 1,619 points. They had 46 first-place votes and 1,594 points when they reached No. 1 last week. Gonzaga earned 28 USA Today first-place votes with Villanova collecting the remaining four.
Baylor dropped from second to sixth after losing to Kansas and Kansas State. Kansas remained at No. 3 after a 1-1 week. Louisville has climbed nine spots in the last two weeks to reach No. 4.
Oregon moved up eight spots to AP No. 5 after a convincing win over Arizona. Wisconsin is fifth in the coaches’ poll, followed by Oregon.
Gonzaga faces its toughest remaining obstacle to an unbeaten regular season when it visits Saint Mary’s on Saturday. The Gaels (21-2) are No. 20 in both polls. The Zags won the first meeting 79-56 last month in Spokane.
Gonzaga takes on Loyola Marymount on Thursday in Los Angeles.
In addition to Gonzaga-Saint Mary’s, there are five other matchups featuring AP ranked teams: Louisville-Virginia on Monday; Oregon-UCLA and North Carolina-Duke on Thursday; Villanova-Xavier on Saturday; and Cincinnati-SMU on Sunday.
Florida, which lost to Gonzaga in the AdvoCare Invitational semifinals in Orlando, moved up to No. 17 after defeating Kentucky.
Iowa State, which fell to the Zags in the AdvoCare title game, ended Kansas’ 51-game winning streak at Allen Fieldhouse. The Cyclones are receiving votes in both polls.
Arizona, which lost to Gonzaga in Los Angeles in early December, is ninth in AP, 10th in USA Today.
Gonzaga defeated BYU 85-75 in Provo on Thursday and crushed visiting Santa Clara 90-55 on Saturday to extend the nation’s longest winning streak.
Six of the AP’s top 10 lost at least once last week. Only seven ranked teams have gone unscathed in the last two weeks.
Xavier and SMU joined the AP rankings, replacing Notre Dame and Northwestern. Xavier had a one-week absence. The Mustangs are ranked for the first time this season.