FIRST AP POLL— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) November 9, 2020
This is the first time in program history that Gonzaga will start the season as the No. 1 ranked team in college basketball. The program has been achieving milestones left and right over the last few years, and this is just another one that signals it has earned its place amongst the elite in college basketball.
All signs were pointing to the Zags claiming one of the top two spots in the initial AP poll for much of the (never-ending) offseason, although the surprise early departure of Filip Petrusev cast some doubt whether Gonzaga would start the year with a 1 next to its name. Baylor was the other program that had a strong claim to the top of the rankings, so it is no surprise to see it below Gonzaga at No. 2.
The two teams are so close in the eyes of voters that only a single point separates them in the rankings, with Gonzaga just edging out the Bears with 1,541 points, although it earned 28 first place votes to 24 for Baylor.
Thanks to an aggressive non-conference schedule, we’ll actually have the chance to see a matchup between the preseason top 2 early in the year when they tip off in Indianapolis on December 5. The Baylor matchup won’t be the only juicy matchup, however, as the Zags will play four teams in the preseason Top-12 to start the year as Kansas, Iowa, and Tennessee join Baylor in an absurd early schedule. That doesn’t even take into account Auburn, which received votes as well, although it will not open the season in the rankings.
Tough day for the “Gonzaga doesn’t play anyone” crowd.