Gonzaga stays at No. 5 in AP Top 25, Texas Tech checks in at No. 25 ahead of Phoenix showdown

<p><p>Ever since it was announced, Saturday’s game between Gonzaga and Texas Tech had been billed as a potential top-25 matchup between two highly-regarded programs who last met in the 2019 Elite Eight.</p></p><p><p>The Red Raiders had to do some legwork to make the first part of that happen, but Saturday’s game will indeed feature not one, but two, ranked teams after Texas Tech checked into the AP Top 25 poll at No. 25 on Monday.</p></p><p><p>With only one game against Merrimack last week and another game against Washington cancelled due to COVID19, Gonzaga remained at No. 5 in the AP rankings. It’s the Bulldogs’ 101st consecutive week in the AP poll and 37th straight week inside the top-five of the weekly rankings.</p></p><p><p>There remain a variety of opinions on the Zags, who are 2-2 against Top 25 opponents and will face one more before the nonconference season comes to a close. One voter ranked Gonzaga as high as No. 2 this week, but the Bulldogs were as low as No. 10 on another ballot. The majority of voters – 21 to be exact – slotted Gonzaga at No. 5.</p></p><p><p>Texas Tech has been on the brink of a national ranking at times this season, but the Red Raiders dropped a game to Providence on Dec. 1 and were just 13th among teams receiving votes in the last edition of the poll. Tech rebounded with its first Top 25 win of the season, upsetting No. 13 Tennessee 57-52 in overtime at the Jimmy V Classic in New York to earn its place in the poll</p></p><p><p>Baylor (9-0) became the fourth team to earn a No. 1 ranking this season after an impressive win over No. 6 Villanova in Waco. Including the preseason poll, Gonzaga, Duke and Purdue have all held the top ranking with the Bulldogs being the only team to hold it for multiple weeks.</p></p><p><p>Duke, which beat Gonzaga 84-81 in a Las Vegas thriller a few weeks ago, moved up one spot to No. 2 after previously top-ranked Purdue dropped to No. 3. Weeks after absorbing a 20-point loss to the Zags in Vegas, UCLA held steady at No. 4 after winning at Marquette. Meanwhile, Gonzaga’s 91-82 loss to then No. 16 Alabama looks better than it did a week ago after the Crimson Tide beat No. 14 Houston to move up to No. 6.</p></p><p><p>Arizona, still surging under former Zag assistant Tommy Lloyd, continues its Top 25 ascent and the Wildcats made their way up to No. 8 after an impressive road win at Illinois on Saturday. The Wildcats are 9-0 and averaging 90.7 points per game.</p></p><p><p>One of Gonzaga’s future opponents, BYU, fell out of the Top 25 after losing by double digits to Creighton – the second unranked loss of the season for the Cougars.</p></p><p><p>Another West Coast Conference team is still knocking on the door of the Top 25, however, and may crack the poll sooner than later. Unbeaten San Francisco (10-0) appeared on 10 different Top 25 ballots and collected 36 points in this week’s polls. The Dons received the fifth-most points of teams receiving votes.</p></p>