Gonzaga and Baylor remained at the top of the AP Top 25 Men’s Basketball poll on Monday after their much-anticipated Indianapolis weekend game was canceled about 90 minutes before kick-off due to positive COVID-19 tests and contact tracing under the Bulldogs program was.
Gonzaga got 54 of 61 votes in first place from a national media panel while the Bears had the other seven. Iowa stayed third after Luka Garza’s Monster Week took the Hawkeyes to two easy wins, Michigan state climbed four places to fourth, and Kansas jumped two places to round out the top five.
Illinois allowed the Big Ten to keep three teams in the top six after what was then No. 1. 4 Wisconsin fell with a last-second loss to Marquette. The Illinois were followed by Houston, Creighton, Villanova and Duke.
The top 10 could get a shake this week. Iowa plays against North Carolina No. 16 and Illinois faces the Blue Devils in the ACC Big Ten Challenge on Tuesday night. The Jayhawks play the Bluejays in the Big East Big 12 battle.
There were many formidable matchups during the second full week of college basketball, but none were as common as Gonzaga-Baylor at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The Zags had already beaten the Jayhawks and West Virginia # 11 along with Auburn, while the Bears skyrocketed after a win over Illinois.
But when two members of the Bulldogs’ tour group, including a player, tested positive for coronavirus before their game was due to tip on Saturday, they forced public health officials and school officials to abandon it.
“We are disappointed that we will not be able to play one of the most anticipated games of the season but we are following the advice of the health authorities,” said Gonzaga’s coach Mark Few and Baylor counterpart Scott Drew in a joint statement. “There are much bigger problems in this world than not being able to play a basketball game. So we will continue to pray for all those affected by this pandemic.”
Both teams hope to postpone the game, but look forward to further tests. The Bulldogs have canceled their next four games as they continue to grapple with the virus and have their next game with the Hawkeyes on December 17th. Baylor will soon open the Big 12 game against Texas # 13.
Wisconsin was associated with the Longhorns, followed by Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Texas Tech, Virginia, Richmond, and Florida State. The last five were Rutgers, Ohio State, Arizona State, San Diego State, and Louisville.
MOVE IN AND MOVE OUT
The Aztecs and Cardinals, who started 4-0 each, took part in the election instead of Kentucky and Oregon.
BIG BLUE BUMMER
Not only did the Wildcats drop out of the polls after their third straight defeat from 20th place, this time by Georgia Tech, but also by coach John Calipari’s group who didn’t get a single vote. Kentucky (1-3) had its worst start since the 2000-01 season, when Tubby Smith went 24-10.
“There are a lot of things that we are working on and losing games makes it harder,” said Calipari. “I mean, everyone is throwing us around right now.”
Still looking inside
Michigan remained the first team outside of the top 25 for the first week in a row. Saint Louis and Florida, undefeated like the Wolverines, were among other teams to get votes.