mcloudy.png
Friday August 14th, 2020 6:48PM

Top-ranked Gonzaga wraps up undefeated WCC season

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

Gonzaga moved back atop the AP Top 25 this week. Wins over Pacific and Saint Mary's took the Bulldogs a step closer to a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Still playing without one of its best players, No. 1 Gonzaga capped off a perfect run through the West Coast Conference and extended the nation's longest winning streak to 20 games with a 69-55 victory over Saint Mary's on Saturday night.

The Zags (29-2, 16-0 WCC) set a conference record by winning by an average of 27 points and earned the No. 1 seed in this week's WCC tournament in Las Vegas. Win a seventh straight title there, Gonzaga could be looking at the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament.

"They're a very good team, very good," Saint Mary's coach Randy Bennett said. "One of the best teams that I've coached against for sure. I can't remember one better unless it was Gonzaga two years ago. They are very good."

The Gonzaga team two years ago reached the national title game.

This year's team could be more talented.

Rui Hashimura has become an All-America candidate. Brandon Clarke is one of the nation's most athletic big men and shot blockers. Josh Perkins is steady and heady at point guard. Zach Norvell Jr. can score in bunches.

Gonzaga is No. 1 in KenPom's adjusted offensive efficiency, No. 16 in defensive efficiency.

And the Zags are doing it despite forward Killian Tillie playing just nine games due to foot injuries.

Get Tillie back for the NCAA Tournament and Gonzaga will be tough to beat.

MISSING ZION

Duke was the No. 1 team in the country with Zion Williamson in the lineup.

The Blue Devils haven't been quite as good since the high-flying freshman blew out his shoe and tweaked his knee.

Williamson has missed the past three games since his shoe gave way and he sprained his right knee against rival North Carolina.

Duke (25-4, 13-3 ACC) lost to the Tar Heels after Williamson went down and then beat Syracuse before losing to No. 20 Virginia Tech. The Blue Devils bounced back with an 87-57 win over Miami on Saturday night behind RJ Barrett's 19 points and 10 rebounds.

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said Williamson, who is second in the ACC with 21.6 points per game, will not be rushed back to the court.

VOLS RISING

Tennessee was slated as one of four No. 1 seeds in the NCAA selection committee's initial rankings.

The Vols likely fell off the 1 line with losses to then-No. 5 Kentucky and No. 13 LSU, but could be inching back.

Tennessee escaped with a two-point win over Ole Miss on Wednesday and blew out Kentucky 71-52 in a rematch on Saturday.

The Vols (26-3, 14-2) are tied atop the Southeastern Conference with LSU heading into the final week of the regular season.

TESTY VICTORY

Utah State improved its resume with an 81-76 win over No. 12 Nevada on Saturday night that gave the Aggies the Mountain West Conference lead.

Pandemonium broke out in the hallways after Utah State students stormed the court and left Nevada's Jordan Caroline noticeably upset.

Caroline broke glass when he punched a fire extinguisher case and members of the Wolf Pack contingent could be heard yelling expletives in the tunnel, some at police officers for not protecting the players better.

If the teams meet in the Mountain West Conference Tournament in Las Vegas in a week, be sure to find a TV.

HOUSTON'S HOME STREAK

Central Florida got a big boost to its NCAA Tournament hopes and ended the nation's longest home winning streak with a 69-64 win over Houston on Saturday.

The Knights (22-6, 12-4 AAC) needed a resume-boosting win and got it by ending Houston's 33-game home winning streak.

The Cougars (27-2, 14-2) will likely drop in the AP Top 25 after reaching No. 8 this week, their highest since the Phi Slamma Jamma team finished the 1983-84 season No. 5.

ROY'S FALL

Vertigo hit Roy Williams again.

The North Carolina coach has struggled with vertigo and fell in front of his team's bench a minute before halftime of Saturday's game against Clemson. He was helped to the locker room and did not return, but appeared to be fine after the game.

The fifth-ranked Tar Heels won the game 81-79 to remain tied with No. 2 Virginia atop the ACC.

___

More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Basketball, College Sports, AP Sports - Men's College Basketball
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
At least 14 dead on day of tornadoes, severe storms in South
Alabama sheriff confirms at least 14 dead as violent storms, including tornadoes, scatter destruction in pockets around the Southeast; death toll expected to rise
9:54PM ( 13 minutes ago )
The Latest: Coroner says death toll may rise to at least 20
A coroner in Alabama says he expects the death toll to rise to at least 20 from an apparent tornado in hard-hit Lee County
9:53PM ( 14 minutes ago )
The Latest: Sanders says much work to do for civil rights
Sanders says it's "incomprehensible" that people of color and poor people are still fighting for voting rights
9:46PM ( 21 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Harden scores 42 points, Rockets hold off Celtics 115-104
James Harden had 42 points before fouling out late in the fourth quarter and the Houston Rockets held on the beat the Boston Celtics 115-104 for their fifth straight victory
8:10PM ( 1 hour ago )
Ovechkin, Caps win 4th in row with 3-2 victory over Rangers
Ovechkin gets strange shootout goal as Washington Capitals beat New York Rangers 3-2 for 4th straight win
7:53PM ( 2 hours ago )
Joey Logano holds off Brad Keselowski for Vegas NASCAR win
Joey Logano has held off teammate Brad Keselowski to win the NASCAR Cup Series race in Las Vegas
7:53PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Sports
Brazdeikis carries 9 Michigan past No. 17 Maryland 69-62
Ignas Brazdeikis scores 21 points as No. 9 Michigan tops No. 17 Maryland 69-62
6:03PM ( 4 hours ago )
Hood breaks out of slump, lifts Blazers past Hornets 118-108
Rodney Hood scored 27 points, Jusuf Nurkic added 26 points and 15 rebounds and the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Charlotte Hornets 118-108
4:55PM ( 5 hours ago )
Hood, Nurkic lead Blazers past Hornets 118-108
Rodney Hood scored 27 points, Jusuf Nurkic added 26 points and 15 rebounds and the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Charlotte Hornets 118-108
3:36PM ( 6 hours ago )
AP Online Basketball
No. 1 Gonzaga wins 20th straight, 69-55 over Saint Mary's
Josh Perkins scored 19 points and Brandon Clarke sparked a big second-half run with strong play on both ends of the court to help No. 1 Gonzaga wrap up a perfect conference regular season with a 69-55 victory over Saint Mary's
12:47AM ( 21 hours ago )
After Williams falls and leaves, No. 5 UNC outlasts Clemson
No. 5 North Carolina survived a wild second half after coach Roy Williams fell and was helped off the court shortly before halftime, beating Clemson 81-79
9:17PM ( 1 day ago )
UNC's Roy Williams falls near bench, helped off court
North Carolina coach Roy Williams fell near the bench during the first half of a game and was led to the locker room
7:11PM ( 1 day ago )
College Sports
No. 18 Florida State, behind Kabengele, tops NC State 78-73
Mfiondu Kabengele scores 16, sending No. 18 Florida State past NC State 78-73
3:51PM ( 1 day ago )
Detroit Mercy's Davis breaks Curry's freshman 3-point record
Detroit Mercy guard Antoine Davis broke Stephen Curry's freshman 3-point record early in the second half in an 87-85 win over IUPUI
3:35AM ( 2 days ago )
Clarke, Hachimura lead No. 1 Gonzaga past Pacific 86-66
Brandon Clarke had 21 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks, and No. 1 Gonzaga extended the nation's longest winning streak to 19 games, thumping Pacific 86-66 on Thursday night.
1:40AM ( 2 days ago )
AP Sports - Men's College Basketball
At least 14 dead on day of tornadoes, severe storms in South
Alabama sheriff confirms at least 14 dead as violent storms, including tornadoes, scatter destruction in pockets around the Southeast; death toll expected to rise
9:54PM ( 13 minutes ago )
The Latest: Coroner says death toll may rise to at least 20
A coroner in Alabama says he expects the death toll to rise to at least 20 from an apparent tornado in hard-hit Lee County
9:53PM ( 14 minutes ago )
The Latest: Sanders says much work to do for civil rights
Sanders says it's "incomprehensible" that people of color and poor people are still fighting for voting rights
9:46PM ( 21 minutes ago )
House to query 60 Trump officials in obstruction probe
Declaring it's "very clear" President Donald Trump obstructed justice, a top House Democrat is requesting documents Monday from more than 60 people from Trump's administration, family and business
9:34PM ( 33 minutes ago )
Senate seems to have votes to reject Trump's wall move
Opponents of President Donald Trump's declaration of a national emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border appear to have enough Senate votes to reject his move, now that Republican Rand Paul of Kentucky has said he can't go along with the White House
9:32PM ( 36 minutes ago )