College basketball rankings: Gonzaga rises, Saint Mary’s plummets as Zags dominate Gaels in rubber match


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The first game was close. The second game was also close. So, it was reasonable to assume that this season’s third matchup between Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s with the West Coast Conference Tournament title on the line would be another back-and-forth affair undetermined until the final minutes inside the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.

It wasn’t, though.

Instead, this season’s third matchup between Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s was a game the Zags led by double-digits barely six minutes in, and by 18 points at the half, before eventually cruising to a 77-51 win in the conference title game. The 26-point victory allows Gonzaga to enter the 2023 NCAA Tournament on a nine-game winning streak. After a slow start to the season, at least relative to most of the starts to most of Gonzaga’s seasons, the Zags are 23-2 in their past 25 contests.

“It was a grind this season,” said Gonzaga star Drew Timme, who finished with 18 points and six rebounds while becoming the school’s all-time leading scorer. “I think that grind has made us as a group appreciate each and every night winning and what it takes to win and be a good team.”

Gonzaga is No. 8 in Wednesday morning’s updated CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 daily college basketball rankings. That would translate to a No. 2 seed in the 2023 NCAA Tournament, which is what CBS Sports Bracketology Expert Jerry Palm is currently projecting Mark Few’s program will receive on Selection Sunday. With the loss, Saint Mary’s is down to No. 21 in the Top 25 And 1.

Top 25 And 1 rankings

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