The Zags emerged from their Southern California road trip with a 2-0 record that made them the first team in the nation to reach 21 wins. Today, the Coaches and Associated Press polls reflected the Zags' success as they have moved up one spot to No. 6. With their win over Michigan, the Indiana Hoosiers have earned the No. 1 ranking in both polls with Florida close behind at No. 2. Arizona, who Gonzaga is battling with for 'Best in the West' status, checked in just behind the Zags at No. 7 in this week's polls after sweeping the Washington schools this week.
As we have said since the loss at Butler, Gonzaga is still very much in control of their destiny as it relates to a two-seed in the tournament but it can't afford a slip-up in conference play. On Saturday night, San Diego nearly took down the Zags as they led for a good portion of the second half and had a last second three-point attempt that would have won the game. Thankfully, Elias Harris came through with the block and Mark Few's club avoided what would have been a very bad loss at this stage of the season.
In all likelihood, the current ranking is probably at or approaching the ceiling of where the Zags will finish the season should they win out. Saint Mary's is likely the only remaining tournament team on Gonzaga's schedule and, at best, they will play the Gaels twice. The two teams square off next on Valentine's Day and then will be the odds on favorites to meet in the WCC Championship game. With the weakened strength of schedule as the year comes to a close, I am guessing the voters in the AP and Coaches Polls will likely not give the Zags much credit if they win out over the lowly WCC.
The good news is that virtually every Bracketologist has Gonzaga as a two-seed right now. Jerry Palm and Joe Lunardi both have Gonzaga as a two-seed in the South bracket where their one-seed would be Kansas.