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COLLEGE MEN'S BASKETBALL: Gonzaga tops preseason coaches poll for first time

| October 28, 2021 1:17 AM

From news services

SPOKANE – For the first time in program history, the Gonzaga men's basketball team was ranked No. 1 in the USA TODAY Coaches' preseason poll Wednesday. It's the first time the Zags have led the preseason balloting since USA TODAY started administering the poll in 1991.

In the preseason balloting, GU received 772 poll points and 29 first-place votes to edge out UCLA and Kansas for the top spot. The second-ranked Bruins picked up two firsts and 709 total points, and the Jayhawks got 705 points to open at No. 3. Villanova will open at No. 4, while Texas rounds out the top five.

Gonzaga opens in the top-20 of the poll for the ninth straight year. GU appears in the coaches' preseason poll for the 12th straight season. Last year, Baylor beat out GU by only two points for the No. 1 spot.

The Bulldogs and UCLA square off in Las Vegas on Nov. 23. Gonzaga faces Texas in Spokane on Nov. 13. The Zags play Duke in Las Vegas on Nov. 26. The Blue Devils were No. 9 in the rankings. GU and Alabama meet in Seattle on Dec. 4. The Crimson Tide start the season at No. 13. Texas Tech, who is two spots outside of the Top 25 receiving 46 votes, faces the Bulldogs in Phoenix on Dec. 18.

Gonzaga hosts Eastern Oregon in an exhibition on Sunday and opens the regular season against Dixie State on Nov. 9.

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