Gonzaga opens the season inside the top-20 in both major polls
SPOKANE, Wash. – The Gonzaga men’s basketball team was ranked No. 18 in the Associated Press Top 25 preseason poll Wednesday.
Gonzaga ended last season’s historic campaign in the national championship game with a program-best 37-2 record. The Zags advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the 19th straight season after claiming their 20th West Coast Conference title.
Gonzaga had 500 points in the poll. West Coast Conference foe, Saint Mary’s, received 333 points and were ranked No. 22. The Bulldogs and SMC faceoff on Jan. 18 and Feb. 10.
The Bulldogs meet Villanova in the Jimmy V Classic in New York City on Dec. 5. The Wildcats were slated sixth in the poll. GU will play Stanford or Florida in the second round of the PK80 Invitational on Nov. 24 in Portland. Florida was No. 8 in the preseason ranking.
Duke topped the preseason poll with 33 first-place votes. Michigan State followed at No. 2 with 13 first-place votes, with Arizona ranked third with 18 first-place votes. Kentucky and Kentucky rounded out the top-five.
The Zags were ranked 14th in last year’s AP preseason poll, before ending at No. 2 in the final poll.
The Bulldogs’ best showing in a preseason AP Top 25 poll was No. 8 at the beginning of the 2005-06 season. This marks the 17th straight season Gonzaga has been ranked in the AP poll. It’s the eighth consecutive year the Zags have appeared in the preseason poll, starting in the top-20 for the fifth straight season.
Gonzaga opens the season with an exhibition against The College of Idaho Saturday. The first regular season game is on Nov. 10 at 6 p.m., against Texas Southern.
|AP Top 25|
|2||Michigan State (13)||0-0||1,520|
|Others receiving votes: Alabama 86, Virginia 57, Rhode Island 49, TCU 46, Providence 34, Missouri 19, Virginia Tech 16, Wisconsin 14, Butler 13, Texas 10, Oklahoma 7, Maryland 7, Nevada 7, Michigan 6, Dayton 5, Middle Tennessee 4, Ball State 4, SMU 3, Oakland 2, Oregon 2, UCF 1, South Carolina 1, Harvard 1|