Gonzaga ranked No. 1 in Preseason AP Poll, followed by UCLA, Kansas, Villanova, Texas | Zagsblog
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Friday / May 20.
  • Gonzaga ranked No. 1 in Preseason AP Poll, followed by UCLA, Kansas, Villanova, Texas

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    For just the second time in program history, and for the second straight season, Gonzaga was ranked No. 1 in the preseason Associated Press poll, which was released Monday.

    The Zags are followed by UCLA, Kansas, Villanova and Texas in the top five.

    “It is quite an honor to be selected preseason No. 1 for the second consecutive year,” GU Head Coach Mark Few said. “Our returning players realize the challenge of playing up to that level all year and look forward to it.”

    It’s the 18th straight poll the Zags sit at No. 1. That streak matches the sixth-longest in AP poll history with Duke in 1992. UCLA topped the ranking for 46 consecutive polls from 1971 to 1974. In total, the Bulldogs have spent 34 weeks at No. 1 in the AP Poll in program history, which ranks 10th all-time. GU has now been ranked No. 1 in six of the last 10 seasons. Gonzaga boasts a 55-6 record all-time as the No. 1 ranked team in the AP Poll.

    Last season, the Zags became the 14th program all-time to stay at No. 1 from the preseason poll to the final poll. In 2019-20, GU spent four consecutive weeks at No. 1 in the AP poll, before finishing No. 2 with one first-place vote. In 2018-19, Gonzaga was the top-ranked AP team for five weeks, after winning the Maui Invitational for two weeks and three straight weeks late in the regular season. The Bulldogs were No. 1 in in the last three rankings of the 2012-13 season, prior to the NCAA Tournament. GU climbed to No. 1 after a 22-0 start to the 2016-17 season. The Zags were No. 1 for four straight weeks, before finishing the regular season 29-1, and advancing to the national championship game.

    This marks the 21st straight season Gonzaga has been ranked in the AP poll. It’s the 12th consecutive year the Zags have appeared in the preseason poll, starting in the top-20 for the ninth straight season. It’s the eighth time GU has been ranked in the Top-10 in the preseason AP ranking. The Zags’ 96 straight AP Poll appearances top the nation, with Villanova second at 41.

    Gonzaga had 1,562 points in this year’s preseason poll, with 55 first-place votes. Last year, the Zags had 1,541 points in the preseason poll, with 28 first-place votes.

    The Zags play Duke in Las Vegas on Nov. 26. The Blue Devils were No. 9 in the rankings. GU and Alabama meet in Seattle on Dec. 4. The Crimson Tide start the season at No. 14. Texas Tech, who is just outside of the Top 25 receiving 17 votes, faces the Bulldogs in Phoenix on Dec. 18. West Coast Conference foe BYU received three votes in the poll.

    Gonzaga hosts Eastern Oregon in an exhibition on Oct. 31 and opens the regular season against Dixie State on Nov. 9.

    2021-22 PRESEASON AP TOP 25

    1Gonzaga (55)0-01,5621
    2UCLA (8)0-01,459NR
    17Ohio State0-05817
    19North Carolina0-0547NR
    20Florida State0-038114
    23St. Bonaventure0-0238NR
    Others receiving votes: Michigan State 87, Indiana 41, USC 30, Arizona 26, Virginia Tech 25, Oklahoma State 25, Xavier 22, Texas Tech 17, Richmond 13, Rutgers 11, Colorado State 11, LSU 7, Belmont 7, San Diego State 5, St. John’s 5, Mississippi State 5, Syracuse 5, Drake 4, Colorado 4, BYU 3, Notre Dame 3, Louisville 3

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.