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Gonzaga continues to gain ground in AP rankings, NET and bracket projections

Mar. 4—By nearly every measure — NET rankings, Associated Press poll, KenPom, bracket projections — Gonzaga is moving up.

The Bulldogs, following impressive West Coast Conference wins over San Francisco and Saint Mary's, climbed four spots to No. 19 in the latest AP Top 25. The regular-season champion Gaels dropped from 17 to 23 after falling to Gonzaga 70-57 on Saturday in Moraga.

It was a similar story in the NET, a primary tool used to evaluate the resumes of tournament teams. Gonzaga and Saint Mary's swapped spots from Sunday to Monday with the Zags moving to No. 16 and the Gaels falling to No. 17. Gonzaga was No. 21 last Monday.

North Carolina State, No. 33 in the NET in 2019, is the highest ranked team not to make the NCAA Tournament field.

An eight-game winning streak — including three Quad 1 road wins vs. teams in the top 75 in the NET — has moved Gonzaga off the so-called bubble to safely in the field, according to most bracket projections.

Jerry Palm of CBS Sports has Gonzaga as an eight seed facing No. 9 Michigan State in Memphis with the winner matching up against No. 1 Houston/No. 16 Quinnipiac in the second round.

Mike DeCourcy of Fox Sports lists Gonzaga as a seven seed, just below Saint Mary's, Florida and Texas Tech. Clutchpoints.com has No. 10 Gonzaga facing No. 7 Boise State, led by former GU assistant Leon Rice, with the winner taking on No. 2 Iowa State/No. 15 Eastern Washington.

Gonzaga was nowhere to be found in bracket projections after falling to Saint Mary's 64-62 in early February. The Zags were still in ESPN's Joe Lunardi's First Four Out after defeating Kentucky 89-85 in Lexington.

Gonzaga is No. 15 in KenPom's metrics. The Zags are 10th in adjusted offensive efficiency and 40th in defensive efficiency.

Houston remained No. 1 in the AP poll, followed by UConn, Purdue, Tennessee and Arizona. Kentucky is No. 15 and Washington State is No. 18. Boise State received 26 points and was 28th overall.

Gonzaga is No. 18 in the USA Today coaches' poll. WSU is No. 20 and Saint Mary's is No. 21.

Gonzaga, 18/1 in BetOnline.ag's national championship odds last June, was 75/1 on Feb. 1 and 50/1 as of Monday, tied for 17th with former WCC member BYU. Defending champion UConn is the favorite at 5/1.