Zags No. 1

Guard Joel Ayayi and the Gonzaga men's basketball team are the No. 1 AP preseason ranked team in the country for the first time in program history.

The Gonzaga men’s basketball team received the No. 1 ranking in the Associated Press (AP) preseason polls for the first time in program history, according to a Gonzaga athletics news release.

For the 20th straight season, GU men’s basketball has been ranked by the AP, and prior to this No. 1 preseason ranking, the Zags have been ranked as the No. 1 team in the country six times in the AP poll. Four of those times were in four consecutive weeks last season. In the 2018-19 season, the Zags began the season as No. 8 and climbed its way to a No. 1 ranking after defeating Duke University in the Maui Invitational. 

“It’s a great honor to be selected No. 1,” Gonzaga Head Coach Mark Few said via the news release. “We understand that it is more a reflection of what our program has accomplished over the years and hope to play up to that standard as we start our season.”

Along with it being the 20th straight season GU men’s basketball has been ranked in the AP poll, according to the news release, it is the seventh time in school history that the Zags have been ranked in the top-10 in the preseason AP rankings.

According to the press release, GU received 1,541 total points in the ranking, resulting in 28 first place votes. Baylor University followed with 1,540 total points and 24 first place votes, and they are the No. 2 preseason seed according to the AP preseason polls. The Zags are set to face the Bears in Indianapolis on Dec. 5.

Along with the matchup between the No. 1 and No. 2 preseason ranked teams in the country, the Zags will also have three other matchups against top-six teams in the country. The Zags kick off their season against the No. 6 preseason ranked Kansas Jayhawks on Nov. 26, followed by a matchup with unranked Auburn, who also received eight votes in the AP poll. Following the contest against Baylor Dec. 5, the Zags will travel to Sioux Falls, South Dakota to play the University of Iowa, who is the No. 5 preseason ranked team according to the AP poll.

Vinny Saglimbeni is a sports editor. Follow him on Twitter: @vinnysaglimbeni.

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