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Unbeaten Gonzaga No. 1 for second time in school history

By The Sports Xchange
Gonzaga Head Coach Mark Few. Photo by Jim Bryant/UPI
Gonzaga Head Coach Mark Few. Photo by Jim Bryant/UPI | License Photo

The lone unbeaten team in the country took over the No. 1 ranking in the latest college basketball poll released Monday.

Gonzaga (22-0) survived a wrecking-ball week in which seven of the top-10 teams lost to climb two spots and ascend to No. 1 for the second time in school history.

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The Bulldogs, who last were perched at the top of the rankings in the final three weeks of the 2012-13 regular season, received 46 first-place votes from the 65-member national media panel. Gonzaga opened the season ranked No. 14.

Baylor (20-1), which spent one week at No. 1 earlier in the season, also avoided the carnage to climb three slots to No. 2 while being named on six first-place ballots.

Kansas (19-2) received nine first-place votes after splitting a pair of road decisions against ranked opponents, falling at then-No. 18 West Virginia before rebounding with a 79-73 victory at then-No. 4 Kentucky.

Defending national champion Villanova (20-2) was bounced from the top ranking due to a loss at Marquette and landed at No. 4, receiving the remaining four first-place nods. Arizona (20-2) checked in at No. 5 after extending its winning streak to 14 games with a pair of victories.

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Louisville (18-4) and West Virginia (17-4) were at Nos. 6 and 7 after vaulting seven and 11 spots, respectively, while Kentucky (17-4), Virginia (16-4) and Wisconsin (18-3) rounded out the top 10.

UCLA (19-3) headed the second 10 and was followed by North Carolina (19-4), Oregon (19-3), Cincinnati (19-2), Florida State (18-4) and Butler (18-4). Cincinnati was the lone team in that group to escape defeat last.

The top 20 was filled out by Maryland (19-2), Saint Mary's (19-2), South Carolina (17-4) and Notre Dame (17-5), which dropped five slots after a pair of defeats.

The next three teams, Duke (16-5), Creighton (19-3) and Purdue (17-5), each dropped at least three spots. Florida (16-5) moved up one notch to No. 24 despite winning both its games by more than 30 points while Northwestern (18-4) was the only newcomer at No. 25, its first ranking since 2009-10.

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