Thursday, May 26, 2022

College basketball rankings: Gonzaga returns to No. 1 spot in new Coaches Poll ahead of Auburn

Gonzaga completed a sweep of this week’s polls on Monday, when the Zags came in at No. 1 in the Coaches Poll with a 23-8 edge in first-place votes on No. 2 Auburn. Arizona also received a singe first-place vote. The Tigers came up just short of the top spot in both polls after extending their winning streak to 13 games with road wins at Alabama and Ole Miss last week.

The placement of Gonzaga in the AP Top 25, and its relatively wide first-place margin in the Coaches Poll, is a ringing endorsement of the Zags’ recent offensive dominance. They have averaged 114 points per game during a 3-0 start to WCC play while winning by an average margin of 30.7 points. While the West Coast Conference is regarded as strong this season by its usual standards, the Zags could have an opportunity to retain a stranglehold on the top spot.

Having already beaten the league’s second-highest ranked team in the NET, No. 26 BYU, by 26 points, Gonzaga seems destined to steamroll through conference play once again. Its only losses are against quality foes Duke and Alabama.

Elsewhere, a couple mid-major schools made their first appearances in the polls Monday. Loyola Chicago cracked the Coaches Poll at No. 24, and Colorado State made it at No. 23.  

Coaches Poll

1. Gonzaga (23)

2. Auburn (8)

3. Arizona (1)

4. Purdue

5. Duke

6. Baylor

7. Kansas

8. Wisconsin

9. UCLA

10. Houston

11. Villanova

12. Kentucky

13. Michigan St

14. Iowa State

15. Southern California

16. Louisiana State

17. Illinois

18. Ohio St.

19. Texas Tech

20. Xavier

21. Providence

22. Texas

23. Colorado St.

24. Loyola-Chicago

25. Tennessee

25. UConn 

Others receiving votes: Miami 40; Seton Hall 37; Brigham Young 23; Alabama 21; Davidson 14; Texas A&M 11; San Diego St. 10; Iowa 10; North Carolina 6; Indiana 6; Southern Methodist 5; Oregon 5; West Virginia 4; Texas Christian 4; San Francisco 2; Oklahoma 1; Oakland 1; Murray St. 1; Grand Canyon 1; Boise St. 1.

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