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Gonzaga moves up to No. 23 in AP poll after 2-0 WCC start

Jan. 8—Gonzaga's first back-to-back wins in a month bumped the Zags up one spot to No. 23 in the Associated Press poll.

The Zags, who routed Pepperdine 86-60 and San Diego 101-74 to open West Coast Conference play, extended the nation's longest active streak to 143 consecutive appearances in the media poll. Houston, No. 2 in the latest poll, is next at 74 straight. The Cougars are the last unbeaten team in Division I.

Purdue remained No. 1 with 54 first-place votes and 1,566 points. Kansas dropped one spot to No. 3, followed by UConn, Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, Arizona, Oklahoma and Illinois.

Gonzaga (11-4) visits Kentucky on Feb. 10. Three of GU's four losses came to ranked foes — Purdue (73-63), UConn (76-63) and San Diego (84-74). The Aztecs returned to the rankings at No. 19.

The Zags received 185 points, two behind No. 22 Creighton. Gonzaga point guard Ryan Nembhard played his first two seasons at Creighton.

It was a good week for Gonzaga in the NET rankings. The Zags moved from 54 to 45 following the blowout over San Diego. San Francisco is No. 46 and Saint Mary's is No. 50.

GU also lost to No. 62 Washington (78-73).

The Zags' lone game this week is at Santa Clara on Thursday. The Broncos (11-6) are 2-0 in conference play for the first time in 20 years. They are No. 103 in the NET.

Gonzaga is No. 23 in KenPom's ratings. Saint Mary's is 49, USF 58 and Santa Clara 115. Houston, Purdue, Arizona, Tennessee and Auburn are the top five.

A sample of bracket projections has Gonzaga anywhere from a six to 11 seed. CBS Sports' Jerry Palm's latest lists GU at No. 11 facing No. 6 BYU in Pittsburgh. Clutchpoints.com has sixth-seeded Gonzaga taking on the play-in winner of TCU/Florida.

The Zags are a 10 seed in Bracket Matrix, based on 35 bracket projections.

Gonzaga moved up four spots to No. 21 in the USA Today coaches' poll. The top five: Purdue, Houston, Kansas, Tennessee and UConn.