Gonzaga returns to No. 1 in AP Poll; Providence surges to No. 8 | Zagsblog
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Sunday / July 14.
  • Gonzaga returns to No. 1 in AP Poll; Providence surges to No. 8

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    With Auburn losing last week to Arkansas last week, Gonzaga returned to the No. 1 position in The Associated Press men’s college basketball poll.

    The Zags are No. 1 for a third time this season, while Providence surged to No. 8 ahead of Tuesday’s showdown with No. 10 Villanova and Wyoming entered the Top 25 for the first time in more than seven years.

    Mark Few’s Bulldogs earned 56 of 60 first-place votes in Monday’s poll to swap positions with Auburn, which had spent the past three weeks at No. 1 but fell from the top spot after suffering its first loss since November.

    Gonzaga (21-2) was the preseason No. 1 after last year’s run to the NCAA championship game, which became the team’s only loss. The Zags spent three weeks at the top before falling out after a loss to Duke and also spent a week at No. 1 in mid-January before being supplanted by Auburn.

    AP Top 25 Men’s Basketball Poll

    First-place votes in parentheses

    1. Gonzaga (56)21-2
    2. Auburn (4)23-2
    3. Arizona22-2
    4. Kentucky21-4
    5. Purdue22-4
    6. Kansas20-4
    7. Baylor21-4
    8. Providence21-2
    9. Duke21-4
    10. Villanova19-6
    11. Texas Tech19-6
    12. Illinois18-6
    13. UCLA17-5
    14. Houston20-4
    15. Wisconsin19-5
    16. Tennessee18-6
    17. USC21-4
    18. Ohio State15-6
    19. Michigan State18-6
    20. Texas18-7
    21. Murray State24-2
    22. Wyoming21-3
    23. Arkansas19-6
    24. UConn17-7
    25. Alabama16-9
    It’s become a regular position for Gonzaga over the past four seasons, one no other team in the country can match.

    Going back to 2018-19, Gonzaga has spent at least four weeks at No. 1 each season, including last year’s wire-to-wire hold on the top spot. The Zags have now spent 31 of 72 weeks at No. 1 in the poll over the past four seasons, with Duke (11) and Baylor (10) the closest competitors.

    This year’s Zags are doing it again with a high-powered offense that leads the country in scoring (90.0 PPG) for the fourth straight season. Gonzaga has four players averaging in double figures and three others averaging at least 7.4 points.

    “That’s kind of how we play,” leading scorer Drew Timme said after Saturday’s win over Saint Mary’s. “You look at the scoreboard and it’s, ‘Oh, he had 20, he had 20.’ It’s just how we play the game. I think that’s the beauty of this program and what [Few] has built here.”

    Arizona climbed one spot to No. 3 and is followed by Kentucky — which has its highest ranking since spending a week at No. 1 in November 2019 — and Purdue.

    Kansas was next at No. 6, followed by reigning national champion Baylor and Providence, which climbed three spots to No. 8 for its highest ranking since spending a week in that same position in January 2016.

    Duke and Villanova rounded out the top 10, with the Wildcats making the week’s biggest jump by climbing five spots after wins over St. John’s and Seton Hall.

    Houston had the week’s biggest slide, falling eight spots to No. 14 after losses to SMU and Memphis last week.

    No. 22 Wyoming, No. 23 Arkansas and No. 25 Alabama were the week’s new additions, with the Cowboys from the Mountain West Conference earning their first ranking since spending a week in the 2015 poll. Wyoming is making only its second appearance since the 1987-88 season.

    With the Razorbacks and Crimson Tide returning to the poll, the SEC tied the Big Ten for the national lead with five AP Top 25 teams. The Big 12 had four, followed by the Pac-12 and Big East each having three. The ACC, West Coast, American, Ohio Valley and Mountain West conferences each had one ranked team.

    (Via the AP)

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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.

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