- Associated Press
Monday, February 22, 2021

Gonzaga’s bid for a wire-to-wire run at No. 1 keeps chugging along.

Baylor is still right there with the Zags.


Gonzaga received 60 first-place votes from a media panel in The Associated Press men’s college basketball poll  released on Monday, picking up one vote from last week. The second-ranked Bears received the other four first-place votes in a week of little change.
Gonzaga and Baylor have been 1-2 all season.

Michigan, Ohio State and Illinois rounded out the top five for the second straight week. The Buckeyes held their ground despite losing 92-87  to the Wolverines on Saturday.

The Zags (22-0, 13-0 West Coast Conference) ran over Saint Mary’s  and San Diego last week in their bid to become the first wire-to-wire No. 1 since Kentucky in 2014-15.

Gonzaga has won 26 consecutive games after blowing out San Diego 106-69 on Saturday and hasn’t really been tested despite playing one of the nation’s toughest schedules.

“We’re just becoming more mature and understand that just winning these games doesn’t necessarily mean we’re going to get a guaranteed national championship,” Gonzaga guard Andrew Nembhard said. “We have to raise our level and keep improving every day so that’s what we’ve been trying to do. It’s kind of shown in our play lately.”

Baylor (17-0, 9-0 Big 12) held its season-long spot at No. 2 despite having three more games postponed due to COVID-19 issues. The Bears have not played since beating Texas on Feb. 2 and have had eight games postponed this season.

UConn tops women’s poll

UConn remained the No. 1 team in The Associated Press women’s college basketball poll after blowing out its two opponents last week.

The Huskies received 28 of 30 first-place votes on Monday from a media panel after holding St. John’s and Xavier to 32 points apiece in routs.

North Carolina State returned to the No. 2 spot and Texas A&M climbed to third after South Carolina and Louisville – the previous second- and third-ranked teams — lost games. The Wolfpack had a two-week run at No. 2 last month.

It’s the highest ranking for the Aggies (20-1), who received one first-place vote, since the 2008-09 season, when they were third for three weeks. Coach Gary Blair’s team can win the Southeastern Conference regular-season title with victories over Alabama on Thursday and South Carolina on Sunday. The Gamecocks fell to fifth after losing to Tennessee.
Stanford received the remaining first-place vote and moved up to No. 4 in the poll. The Cardinal have a huge Pac-12 showdown against No. 9 Arizona on Monday night. Louisville dropped to No. 6 after losing at Florida State on Sunday. The Cardinals were followed by Baylor, Maryland, Arizona and UCLA.
The Bruins had an impressive 27-point victory over then-No. 13 Oregon on Friday night but lost to Oregon State by seven on Sunday.
Rutgers entered the poll for the first time this season at No. 25 while Northwestern fell out. The Scarlet Knights have won all five of their games since returning from a five-week pause due to coronavirus issues. They’ve won those games by average of 22.5 points and scored at least 70 in all of them, the first time the school has done that since the 1997-98 season.


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