After opening up West Coast Conference play with a big road win over Portland, the Zags have reaped the benefits in this week's polls. In the Associated Press, Gonzaga moved up two spots to 17th and up five spots to 14th in the Coaches Poll.
Gonzaga's 12-3 record is looking great thanks to the number of teams that continue to fall around them. The theme of the season is quickly becoming "mediocrity, everywhere". Even at the top of the poll which saw Kansas lose to a undermanned Tennessee team and Purdue lose to Wisconsin. This continues on down with New Mexico's loss and Washington now sitting cutely at the bottom of the Pacific-10 standings. Music to my ears.
The Coaches Poll, as usual, has some areas where people will be scratching their heads. Gonzaga's ranking is probably one of those areas. Although the Zags beat Wisconsin in Maui, it would be very hard for me to put us in front of them after a close loss at Michigan State followed by a convincing win over Purdue. The same can be said for Connecticut. That loss to Georgetown was one of those games where 99/100 times, UConn wins. They also played Duke and Kentucky very tough and suffered another brutal two point loss to Cincy. I appreciate them using "the games matter" technique but I could see where each team would have some issues with the Coaches Poll.
The good, nay, the great news is that the Zags are back to their rightful place as the best team in the West. The Pac-10 is beyond miserable this season as no one really wants to go to the NCAA Tournament from the conference and it's pretty clear that either a WCC team or a Mountain West team will have to carry the torch for this side of the nation come March.
Saint Mary's continues to get snubbed by the AP Poll as they still are not receiving votes. My hope for them is that they play Gonzaga close on Thursday but we still pull out the win. The Coaches Poll has the 15-2 Gaels at 29th with 25 points.