Nevada, Arizona State Rise; Gonzaga Falls in Latest AP Poll

BY JACK PARODI

The Associated Press came out with its latest AP Top-25 Poll Monday.

Gonzaga was expected to fall a bit after losing Saturday to North Carolina, but it was unclear whether or not Nevada and Arizona State would rise or fall, considering they both survived close games against some not-so-great opponents.

That trio of teams still remained in the rankings, including two Top-10 teams, but no other West Cosat teams got in. Oregon and UCLA received votes last week, but didn’t get any this time around. However, an under-the-radar San Francisco team received two votes this week. The WCC is actually a fairly deep, talented conference this year.

Here’s how everything shook out in this week’s AP Poll:

  1. Kansas (56)
  2. Duke (5)
  3. Tennessee (2)
  4. Michigan (1)
  5. Virginia (1)
  6. Nevada
  7. Auburn
  8. Gonzaga
  9. North Carolina
  10. Michigan State
  11. Florida State
  12. Texas Tech
  13. Virginia Tech
  14. Buffalo
  15. Ohio State
  16. Wisconsin
  17. Mississippi State
  18. Arizona State
  19. Kentucky
  20. Marquette
  21. Houston
  22. Indiana
  23. Iowa
  24. Furman
  25. Nebraska

Others receiving votes: Oklahoma (115), Maryland (103), Kansas State (90), St. John’s (59), Villanova (52), North Carolina State (38), Purdue (20), TCU (17), Iowa State (9), Cincinnati (7), Louisville (6), Minnesota (3), Florida (3), Belmont (2), San Francisco (2), NJIT (1)

This Week’s Outlook

#6 Nevada

The Wolfpack has just one game this week, as they’ll face Akron (6-4) at home. The Zips haven’t beaten any notable teams, but did hang in tight with Clemson on the road, losing by just three. Nevada will have to win this game in a decisive manner if it’s going to jump up in the rankings.

#8 Gonzaga

The Bulldogs have a couple of cupcake games this week against UT Arlington (3-7) and Denver (4-8). This pair of home games should be a breeze for Gonzaga — expect absolute blowouts in both games here. However if one of those two games is close, then the ‘Zags very well could fall next week.

#18 Arizona State

The Sun Devils have a pair of ginormous games this week. The first is a nice little road trip to Nashville to face the 6-2 Vanderbilt Commodores. This could be a sneaky game for Arizona State, and they’ve got to be careful here to avoid an upset.

But that contest pales in comparison to what the Sun Devils have Saturday. The No. 1 Kansas Jayhawks come into Tempe in by far the biggest game of Arizona State’s season. This will be a true test to see how good the Sun Devils really are, and if they belong in the Top-25 right now. If they can keep this one close, or somehow win it, expect Arizona State to skyrocket up the rankings.

San Francisco

The Dons are 10-1 this year, with their only loss coming to No. 14 Buffalo in a neutral site. They have a pair of must-win games if they are to convince the voters they’re deserving of a Top-25 ranking.

Up first is a home game Wednesday against Northern Arizona (2-6), which should be a breeze. But Saturday, they’ll welcome Stanford to the War Memorial Gymnasium. The Cardinal haven’t had the best year, but they took a top-ranked Kansas team to overtime just a few short weeks ago. A statement win over Stanford would be monumental for this surprisingly talented San Francisco team’s resumé.

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