The Zags moved up from third to second in the AP poll. Duke, a team Gonzaga defeated in the Maui Invitational in November, is No. 1. Previously top-ranked Tennessee dropped from first to fifth after losing to Kentucky.
Duke and Gonzaga, Gonzaga and Duke. The two teams can’t seem to get away from each other, in the polls or when they tangled on the basketball court in November.
This week, it’s Duke and Gonzaga as the Blue Devils took over the top spot in the Associated Press poll — followed by the second-ranked Zags, who won the head-to-head meeting 89-87 in the Maui Invitational championship.
This is Duke’s third time at No. 1 this season. The Blue Devils — featuring freshman forward Zion Williamson, listed as the top pick in most 2019 mock drafts — have led seven of the last 16 polls.
Duke collected 58 first-place votes. Gonzaga, which moved up from No. 3, snagged the six others from the media panel. The previous time the Zags received a first-place vote was 10 weeks ago. Gonzaga (25-2) trails the Blue Devils by 92 poll points and leads No. 3 Virginia by 26.
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Previous No. 1 Tennessee dropped to fifth after losing to Kentucky, which moved from fifth to fourth, despite a setback against visiting Louisiana State last week.
Gonzaga lost to Tennessee 76-73 on Dec. 9 in Phoenix.
Nevada, Michigan, North Carolina, Houston and Michigan State rounded out the top 10.
North Carolina visits rival Duke on Wednesday.
There was a change at the top of the latest NCAA Evaluation Tool (NET) rankings, too. Duke moved past Gonzaga into the top spot. The Zags are second, followed by Virginia, Houston and Kentucky.
The NET rankings are one of the selection committee’s main tools for seeding and selecting NCAA tournament teams, but several metrics are included on the team sheets.
Here’s where Gonzaga stands in some other key metrics: Kevin Pauga Index (KPI), No. 9; Ken Pomeroy, No. 3; Jeff Sagarin ratings, No. 2; ESPN Basketball Power Index (BPI), No. 1.
The Zags obviously have strong analytics numbers and most project them as a top seed in one of the four regions. They’re obviously not a lock and several potential challengers, including Kentucky and Michigan, could make a run at a No. 1 seed with strong finishes.
CBSSports.com bracket guru Jerry Palm has Gonzaga as the fourth No. 1 seed, behind Duke, Tennessee and Virginia.
E. Washington routs Idaho
CHENEY – Mason Peatling contributed 16 points and 13 rebounds to help Eastern Washington beat Idaho 82-57 on Monday.
Kim Aiken Jr. had 17 points for the Eagles (10-15 overall, 8-6 Big Sky Conference), who have won their last seven home games.
Cameron Tyson , a former Bothell High standout, had 18 points for the Vandals (4-21, 1-13), who have lost 11 games in a row.
• Kyle Guy scored 23 points and No. 3 Virginia pulled away in the second half for a 64-58 victory at No. 20 Virginia Tech.
Ty Jerome added 16 points for the Cavaliers (23-2, 11-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), who swept the regular-season series against the Hokies (20-6, 9-5).