Gonzaga reclaims No. 1 ranking after wild weeks of upsets

A wild week of upsets led to big changes in the AP NCAA 1 Top 25. Amid the chaos, a familiar team returned to the top.

Preseason No. 1 Gonzaga climbed back to the top of the Associated Press men’s college basketball poll released Monday, ending Baylor’s five-week run. The Bulldogs had 25 first-place votes, 11 fewer than No. 2 Auburn, but edged the Tigers in overall points to take the top spot.

Auburn has its highest ranking since reaching No. 2 in 1999-2000 after moving up two spots. Arizona, Purdue, and Baylor rounded out the top five.

Gonzaga (14-2, 3-0 West Coast) continued its roll since losing to Alabama on Dec. 4, stretching its winning streak to seven games with blowouts over BYU and Santa Clara last week.

Gonzaga tops the NCAA 1 rankings

The rest of the AP Top 25 didn’t fare quite as well, with 13 teams losing, including nine on Saturday. Eight teams lost to unranked opponents.

Baylor’s tenure at the top ended with losses to No. 18 Texas Tech and Oklahoma State. It was the first time the Bears lost consecutive home games in nearly six years, ending the reigning national champions’ winning streak at 21 games.

No. 16 Southern California also saw its undefeated season come crashing with losses to Stanford and Oregon sandwiched around a win over Oregon State. Seton Hall dropped out of the poll from No. 20 after losing to DePaul and Marquette.

“They’re not very happy,” Bears senior Matthew Mayer said when asked about the mood of Baylor’s coaches.

Neither are UCLA’s. The Bruins climbed to No. 3 in last week’s poll and dropped six spots this week after losing 84-81 to Oregon in overtime. The win was the 700th of Ducks coach Dana Altman’s career and dropped UCLA six spots to No. 9 in this week’s poll.

AP Top 25 Men’s Basketball Poll
First-place votes in parentheses.

TEAM RECORD

  1. Gonzaga (25) 14-2
  2. Auburn (36) 16-1
  3. Arizona 14-1
  4. Purdue 14-2
  5. Baylor 15-2
  6. Duke 14-2
  7. Kansas 14-2
  8. Wisconsin 14-2
  9. UCLA 11-2
  10. Houston 15-2
  11. Villanova 13-4
  12. Kentucky 14-3
  13. LSU 15-2
  14. Michigan State 14-3
  15. Iowa State 14-3
  16. USC 14-2
  17. Illinois 13-3
  18. Texas Tech 13-4
  19. Ohio State 11-4
  20. Xavier 13-3
  21. Providence 14-2
  22. Loyola Chicago 13-2
  23. Texas 13-4
  24. Tennessee 11-5
  25. UConn 11-4

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