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Gonzaga drops one spot to No. 9 in AP rankings

The number next to Gonzaga’s name finally changed. The Zags, No. 8 for four weeks in the AP college basketball poll, slipped to No. 9 in Monday’s rankings.

Gonzaga (8-1) received 1,095 points, just one behind No. 8 Kentucky. The Zags are 12 points in front of No. 10 Duke, which became the latest No. 1 team to tumble after falling to Stephen F. Austin last week.

Louisville moved into the top spot. The Cardinals are the fourth different team at No. 1 in five weeks.

The Zags went 2-1 at the Battle 4 Atlantis, holding off then-No. 11 Oregon before falling to unranked Michigan in the title game. The Wolverines, which handled North Carolina prior to thumping the Zags, debuted at No. 4, matching Kansas in 1989 for the biggest jump after being unranked.

North Carolina, 2-1 in the Bahamas, dropped from sixth to seventh. Oregon, which finished 1-2, slipped to 13th.

Louisville is followed by Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Virginia, Ohio State, North Carolina, Kentucky, Gonzaga and Duke.

Arizona, which entertains Gonzaga on Dec. 14, is No. 12. Washington, which entertains Gonzaga on Sunday, is No. 22.

Saint Mary’s knocked off No. 15 Utah State, but remained in the receiving votes category. The Aggies dropped to No. 25.

The Zags are projected as a No. 3 seed facing No. 14 UC Irvine in Spokane in Joe Lunardi’s latest bracketology on ESPN.com. Lunardi lists Michigan as the West Region’s top seed, followed by Duke and GU.

Michigan State, No. 1 in the preseason poll, is now ranked 11th, but the Spartans still have the best odds to win the national championship at 9/1, according to BetOnLine. Gonzaga and North Carolina are tied for seventh at 16/1. The Zags and Tar Heels collide Dec. 18 in Spokane.

Next Monday’s AP rankings could look much different with numerous matchups between ranked teams: Michigan vs. Louisville, Ohio State vs. North Carolina, No. 19 Colorado vs. Kansas, No. 18 Baylor vs. Arizona, Duke vs. Michigan State, North Carolina vs. Virginia and Gonzaga vs. Washington.

In the USA Today poll, Gonzaga dropped two spots to No. 9. The top 10 in order: Louisville, Virginia, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio State, North Carolina, Duke, GU and Kentucky.

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