Gonzaga holds strong at No. 1 in AP, USA Today polls

Jim Meehan, The Spokesman-Review, Spokane, Wash.
·2 min read

Feb. 22—It was one of the quietest weeks of the season for the top five in the AP college basketball poll, but change could be coming.

No. 1 Gonzaga took one first-place vote from No. 2 Baylor, which hasn't played since Feb. 2 due to COVID-19 concerns. The Zags earned 60 of 64 first-place votes and have a 56-point edge over the Bears.

The top five remained the same with No. 3 Michigan, No. 4 Ohio State and No. 5 Illinois behind GU and Baylor. Michigan has returned from a COVID pause with three straight wins, including an entertaining 92-87 victory Sunday over Ohio State.

Several top teams face big conference tests this week. The Wolverines take on No. 9 Iowa on Thursday. Ohio State and Iowa collide Sunday.

Baylor (17-0) faces Iowa State on Tuesday, No. 10 West Virginia on Thursday and No. 17 Kansas on Saturday.

Gonzaga (22-0), which crushed Saint Mary's and San Diego last week, entertains Santa Clara on Thursday and Loyola Marymount on Saturday to close the regular season.

The Zags lost one first-place vote to No. 3 Michigan in the USA Today poll. Gonzaga received 27 of 32 first-place votes and 795 points, 24 more than Baylor. Illinois moved past Ohio State into fourth.

Gonzaga held down the top spot in the NET rankings, the NCAA's primary sorting and seeding tool. Baylor is second, followed by the Big Ten's Michigan, Illinois, Iowa and Ohio State.

BYU is No. 21. LMU is 108 and Santa Clara is 161.

The top five in Ken Pomeroy's metrics are Gonzaga, Baylor, Michigan, Iowa and Illinois.

In the WCC's new tournament seeding formula developed by Ken Pomeroy, the current standings are Gonzaga, BYU, Pepperdine, LMU, Saint Mary's, Pacific, Santa Clara, San Francisco, San Diego and Portland.

BYU received 19 points in the AP poll, an increase of 18 after easy wins over Pacific and LMU. The Cougars had nine points in the coaches poll.