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New AP Poll Has The Zags at #1

Nick Woodhouse, Junior Analyst

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New AP Poll Has The Zags at #1

 

After a chaotic week of NCAA College Basketball, the weekly Associated Press Top 25 depicted the aftermath of early-season tournaments like the Maui Invitational, Battle 4 Atlantis, and the Las Vegas Invitational. After winning the Jim Maui-Maui Invitational in Lahaina, Hawaii… the Gonzaga Bulldogs leapfrogged back into the top spot… an achievement they have not held since their Final Four appearance in 2017. Led by talented veterans such as Josh Perkins, Rui Hachimura, and San Jose State transfer Brandon Clarke alongside a Hall of Fame coach in Mark Few, this Gonzaga team appears to be a for sure national contender. The Zags powered through Illinois in a surprising close game in the first round of the tourney, and followed it up with a win over Sean Miller’s Arizona team in which they exploded in the second half for a 17 point victory. Next came the BIG GAME. A match up with #1 Duke in Maui Final. Gonzaga (#3 in the country) versus a top ranked Duke team had the potential to be one of the best games of the year, and that it was. Led by an offensive explosion in the first half (72% shooting) and a 20 point, 7 rebound effort from Hachimura, the Zags were able to hold off the Duke Blue Devils 89-87.

 

Other winners from the week were the Michigan State Spartans and the Virginia Cavaliers. Michigan State handled #17 UCLA 87-67 in the opening round of the Las Vegas 4 team invitational led by Junior Point Guard Cassius Winston’s 19 points. After Texas knocked off #8 North Carolina in the first round, the Longhorns were set to match up with the Spartans in the final. The Longhorns led by SG Terry Roach also made their way into the Top 25 this Monday, but they weren’t able to get past Tom Izzo’s State team. Texas got off to a hot start but the reigning Big Ten champions battle backed to take home the hardware 78-68. This was a big bounce back week for MSU after a tough opening loss to 2nd ranked Kansas 92-87 a couple weeks previously. The Virginia Cavaliers also stated their dominance in Atlantis showing off their elite defense once again. Led by 2017 Coach of the Year, Tony Bennett, UVA knocked off the likes of Middle Tennessee State, Dayton, and a good Wisconsin team spotlighted by Senior Center Ethan Happ in the Battle 4 Atlantis final 53-46. Virginia Forward Deandre Hunter looks like the real deal averaging 19 points in the tournament. The Cavaliers moved into #4 over the weekend. Overall, a crazy week in college basketball leads into another one highlighted by the BIG TEN-BIG EAST challenge. Should be fun.

 

NCAA Men’s Basketball AP Poll (Top Ten)

  1. Gonzaga                   6) Tennessee
  2. Kansas                      7) Michigan
  3. Duke                         8) Auburn
  4. Virginia                     9) Michigan State
  5. Nevada                     10) Kentucky
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The Student News Site of Bentonville High School
New AP Poll Has The Zags at #1