College Basketball Rankings: Saint Mary's Slips Following 0-2 Week

The ESPN/USA Today preseason college basketball rankings are out, and the California Golden Bears find themselves inside the top 25. Who else made the list?

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NCAA Basketball Rankings: Saint Mary's Rolls Into WCC Championship Game

College basketball enters championship week as the major conferences begin their tournaments on Tuesday. The West Coast Conference gets the spotlight on Monday as they play their championship game, putting No. 1 seed Saint Mary's against No. 2 seed Gonzaga. Both teams are likely heading to the NCAA tournament, but a conference tournament title would boost them in the eyes of the selection committee.

The WCC title game should feature two ranked opponents. Saint Mary's is ranked No. 21 in the Coaches Poll and receiving votes in the AP Poll. They should climb two or three spots in the Coaches Poll, but might not have enough leverage to get into the AP Top 25. Gonzaga is the top team in "Others receiving votes" for both polls. It will be difficult to get into the top 25 in either poll as few lower ranked teams lost, but their win over BYU might be enough to shade some votes their way.

At the top of the rankings, Michigan State and Baylor are likely to drop out of the top ten following tough weeks. Kentucky will remain number one, and might have done enough to pick up the final two first place votes in the AP Poll as they head into championship week as a heavy favorite in the SEC.

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College Basketball Rankings: Saint Mary's Climbs Heading Into WCC Tournament

The 2011-12 college basketball season enters its final full week of major regular season action with some top ten shakeup and a new entrant to the Coaches Poll in Creighton. Missouri dropped from No. 3 to No. 8 in the Coaches Poll, Marquette climbed from No. 10 to No. 7, and Murray State and Baylor both climbed into the Top 10. The Saint Mary's Gaels used wins over Portland and San Francisco to clinch the WCC regular season title, and also climb two spots.

The Gaels head into the conference tournament with some momentum after losing three of four, but will face a stiff challenge from Gonzaga, who is playing particularly solid basketball. This set of polls are the final rankings before conference tournament play gets started. This week features mid and low major conferences getting started with the Big South tipping things off Monday evening. The WCC tournament gets going on Wednesday and culminates with the championship game on Monday, March 5.

Here are the top ten in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll.

1. Kentucky
2. Syracuse
3. Duke
4. Kansas
5. Michigan State
6. North Carolina
7. Marquette
8. Missouri
9. Murray State
10. Baylor

Here are the top ten in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll.

1. Kentucky
2. Syracuse
3. Kansas
4. Duke
5. Michigan State
6. North Carolina
7. Missouri
8. Marquette
9. Baylor
10. Ohio State

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NCAA Basketball Rankings: Saint Mary's Should Climb Heading Into WCC Tournament

March Madness is fast approaching as conference tournaments are just about to get started for some of the mid and low major conferences. The West Coast Conference tournament gets going on Wednesday with the play-in game. The Saint Mary's Gaels have a bye through to Saturday's semifinals where they will face the winner of the eventual 4/5/8/9 matchup.

Saint Mary's wrapped up their regular season with a hard-fought road win over the University of San Francisco Dons. The win capped a 25-5 regular season and 14-2 conference season for Saint Mary's. They ended Gonzaga's recent run of WCC titles and will head into the conference tournament as the number one seed.

The Gaels slid in last week's college basketball rankings after an 0-2 week. They plummeted to the bottom of the "Others receiving votes" category in the AP poll, while only dropping to No. 23 in the Coaches Poll. They will gain some ground, but with eight teams ahead of them, it is unlikely for SMC to climb back into the Top 25. In the Coaches Poll, No. 22 Temple, No. 21 New Mexico, No. 18 Notre Dame and No. 16 Florida State all dropped at least one game this week. The Gaels will probably climb ahead of Temple and New Mexico, and could potentially move past the Irish and/or Seminoles heading into their conference tournament.

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NCAA Basketball Rankings: Saint Mary's Slips, Cal Rising

The latest college basketball rankings are being released and as expected, the Saint Mary's Gaels slipped following an 0-2 week. The Gaels lost a home game to Loyola Marymount and a road game to Murray State, dropping in the Coaches Poll from No. 16 to No. 23 and dropping out of the AP Poll entirely. The Gaels have now lost three of their last four as they are stumbling to close the season. They face San Francisco to close the season before heading to Las Vegas for the WCC tournament.

The California Golden Bears find themselves with some significant positive momentum having won five straight. They swept their home series against Oregon and Oregon State following a sweep of the LA road trip and now find themselves ranked third highest in the "Others receiving votes" category. They wrap up their regular season with a three-game road trip to Utah, Colorado and Stanford. A sweep would get them to 25 wins and lock up an at-large bid if they stumble in the Pac-12 tournament. Cal will be looking to grab at least two wins on the road trip to boost their postseason chances.

Here are the top ten in each poll:

AP Poll
1. Kentucky
2. Syracuse
3. Missouri
4. Kansas
5. Duke
6. Michigan State
7. North Carolina
8. Ohio State
9. Georgetown
10. Marquette

ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll
1. Kentucky
2. Syracuse
3. Missouri
4. Duke
5. Kansas
6. Michigan State
7. North Carolina
8. Georgetown
9. Ohio State
10. Marquette

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NCAA Basketball Rankings: Saint Mary's, Gonzaga Likely To Drop Out Of Top 25

The close of another weekend of college basketball means the AP and ESPN/USA Today Coaches Polls will each be released later this morning. Baylor will drop out of the top ten following their loss to Kansas State, while Ohio State will slip a bit following a loss to Michigan. Beyond that, the top ten will see little turnover as we approach conference-tournament season.

The West Coast Conference will likely lose both of its ranked teams following a tough week in conference play. Saint Mary's lost a pair of games to Loyola Marymount and Murray State. While those are two tough teams, they handled the Gaels with relative ease. LMU went into Moraga for their win and while the Lions will not enter the rankings, they are playing extremely well heading towards the WCC tournament. Saint Mary's will likely drop out of both polls following the two losses, although their No. 16 ranking in the Coaches Poll might give them a little bit of cushion.

Gonzaga will drop out of the Top 25 as well following their last second loss to the San Francisco Dons. It was a tough environment to travel to, but a loss to an unranked team will cost the Bulldogs nonetheless. The Dons struggled at one point in conference play, but have righted the ship and are in position for a potential NIT berth with another win or two.

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College Basketball Rankings: Saint Mary's Slides In AP, Coaches Poll Following Gonzaga Loss

The latest college basketball rankings have been released, and as expected, the Saint Mary's Gaels slipped following their Thursday loss to Gonzaga. Although it was a tough road matchup and they bounced back with a win on Saturday, the drop was expected. Saint Mary's did not drop too far though as they dropped five spots in the AP Poll and three spots in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. The AP now ranks them No. 21 and the Coaches Poll ranks them No. 16.

Saint Mary's has a chance to do some solid climbing in the polls this week as they face Loyola Marymount on Wednesday and a ranked Murray State on Saturday. Murray State lost their first game this past week, but they remain No. 16 in the AP Poll and No. 14 in the Coaches Poll. A sweep of the week would likely be enough to get the the Gaels up three or four spots.

Here are the top ten in each poll:

AP
1. Kentucky
2. Syracuse
3. Missouri
4. Kansas
5. Duke
6. Ohio State
7. Michigan State
8. UNC
9. Baylor
10. Georgetown

Coaches Poll
1. Kentucky
2. Syracuse
3. Missouri
4. Duke
5. Kansas
6. Ohio State
7. UNC
8. Michigan State
9. Georgetown
10. Baylor

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NCAA Basketball Rankings Preview: Saint Mary's Likely To Slip With Loss To Gonzaga

The Saint Mary's Gaels completed a 1-1 week in which they lost a tough road contest against the Gonzaga Bulldogs and won a home game against the Santa Clara Broncos. They retain a one-game lead in the West Coast Conference, but they will likely slip a bit when the new college rankings come out Monday morning. They should not slip too far as there was quite a bit of turmoil in the Top 25 this week.

Saint Mary's currently sits at 23-3 and is ranked No. 16 in the AP Poll and No. 13 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. UNLV will likely climb ahead of Saint Mary's, as will Marquette, even in a Coaches Poll that has them six spots back of the Gaels. Wisconsin will also gain some ground, although it remains to be seen how much. Other than that, anybody within striking distance of Saint Mary's also lost at least once this week.

This will be an interesting week to gauge just what the rest of the country, both media and coaches, think of Saint Mary's. They lost a road game against an always solid Gonzaga. Will it get some measure of respect, or will the rest of the country drop SMC like a rock?

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NCAA Basketball Rankings: AP Poll, Coaches Poll Bump Up Saint Mary's Several Spots

The Saint Mary's Gaels continued their strong climb up the two NCAA basketball polls as they climbed to No. 13 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll and No. 16 in the AP Poll. Saint Mary's only played one game this week as they pulled away strong late against the San Diego Toreros. The Gaels currently stand 22-2 overall and 11-0 in WCC play.

Saint Mary's faces a stiff challenge this week that could make or break a truly high seed come March. SMC travels up to Spokane to face the Gonzaga Bulldogs. While a loss does not hurt their NCAA tournament hopes, a win would move further solidify their status in a bid for a possible three or four seed. They are currently projected in the five seed range, but if they can run the table, road wins over Gonzaga and Murray State, along with a postseason tournament title could get them the best seeding in school history.

Saint Mary's travels to Gonzaga on Thursday for an ESPN2 showdown, and then hosts Santa Clara on Saturday. Here is a rundown of the top ten in each poll:

AP
1. Kentucky
2. Syracuse
3. Ohio State
4. Missouri
5. UNC
6. Baylor
7. Kansas
8. Florida
9. Murray State
10. Duke

ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll
1. Kentucky
2. Syracuse
3. Ohio State
4. Missouri
5. UNC
6. Baylor
7. Murray State
7. Florida
9. Duke
10. Kansas

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NCAA Basketball Rankings Preview: Saint Mary's To Climb In Coaches, AP Polls Following Upsets

The Saint Mary's Gaels had a fairly slow week as they only had one game to play, but they should still benefit when the AP and Coaches Polls come out on Monday. The Gaels defeated the San Diego Toreros 84-73 on Thursday in a game that was actually quite close before SMC pulled away late. The Gaels had Saturday off as they prepare for a huge showdown with their WCC rivals, the Gonzaga Bulldogs.

Saint Mary's currently stands at 22-2 and is ranked No. 18 in the AP Poll and No. 16 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. There were several sizable upsets this past week that should get the Gaels moving up two or three spots in both polls. In the AP Poll, No. 13 Creighton, No. 15 Marquette and No. 16 Virginia all suffered a loss this week. In the Coaches Poll, No. 12 Creighton, No. 13 UNLV and No. 15 Marquette all could drop behind Saint Mary's.

When Saint Mary's travels up to Spokane to face Gonzaga, they likely will not face a ranked Bulldogs squad. Gonzaga was ranked No. 24 in the AP Poll and receiving votes in the Coaches Poll prior to this week. However, a Thursday loss at BYU likely drops them from the AP Poll and keeps them out of the Coaches Poll Top 25. It will be a tough contest, but the lack of a ranking does not diminish a potential road win against Gonzaga.

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NCAA Basketball Scores And Results: Virginia, Marquette Losses Will Boost Saint Mary's

The Saint Mary's Gaels have Saturday off as they await a Thursday road showdown with the Gonzaga Bulldogs. However, they are still getting some benefit even as they enjoy a day off. Much of the rest of the nation is in action and we already have a couple of upsets in the books. The No. 16/18 Virginia Cavaliers were knocked off in a tough road contest at No. 21/24 Florida State. Elsewhere, the No. 15 Marquette Golden Eagles were blown out in a game at the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

The losses will boost the Gaels in the AP Poll where both teams are ahead of SMC, and in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll, where Marquette is one spot ahead of SMC. More importantly, Marquette might take a slight hit in their top ten RPI. Although Saint Mary's won't climb past them in RPI, every loss ahead of them counts as the Gaels look to climb in bracketology reports.

Saint Mary's is in the five to six seed range right now. If they can win at Gonzaga, they would be in a position to potentially run the table the rest of the way. A road win over Murray State in the Bracketbusters event, as well as a postseason conference title would do a lot to boost them towards a higher seed.

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College Basketball Rankings: Saint Mary's Climbs To No. 17

The latest USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll was released Monday morning and the Saint Mary's Gaels continue their climb up the rankings. As expected, the Gaels climbed a few spots thanks to some critical losses ahead of them and their own huge road wins over BYU and Loyola Marymount this past weekend. Saint Mary's climbed from No. 20 to No. 17 in the poll. The Gaels used their 2-0 week to climb ahead of San Diego State, Mississippi State and Connecticut.

SMC has run off the best start in school history as they sit 21-2 and 10-0 in conference play. Their biggest remaining game is in two weeks when they travel to Spokane to face the Gonzaga Bulldogs. A win in Spokane would secure series sweeps of both BYU and Gonzaga and just about lock up the regular season conference title, as well as at least an at-large bid for the Gaels. SMC came up just short last season but is playing like a team possessed in 2011-12.

Here is the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll top 10:

1) Kentucky (31 first place votes)
2) Syracuse
3) Ohio State
4) Missouri
5) Duke
6t) Baylor
6t) North Carolina
8) Kansas
9) Murray State
10) Michigan State

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NCAA Basketball Rankings Preview: Saint Mary's To Climb In AP, Coaches Polls

The Saint Mary's Gaels wrapped up another strong week of basketball on Saturday as they blew out the BYU Cougars at the Marriott Center in Provo, Utah. BYU has now lost two straight at home for the first time since Dave Rose took over as head coach. While the Cougars are not the same time that led Jimmer-mania last season, they are good enough that a road win in Provo still counts for something.

SMC improved to 21-2 overall and 10-0 in conference play with road wins over BYU and Loyola Marmount. This marks the best start in school history and the Gaels find themselves in a position not only to make the NCAA tournament, but to force the selection committee into providing the Gaels with a fairly solid seed. Joe Lunardi's Bracketology update last Monday had the Gaels as a six seed in the West. If SMC can keep up their hot streak, they could very well work their way into a three or four seed by season's end.

When the AP and USA Today/Coaches Polls come out later today, the Gaels will likely climb at least a couple spots in each ranking. They are ranked No. 21 in the AP Poll and saw No. 20 Michigan, No. 18 Mississippi State, No. 16 Indiana and No. 13 San Diego State lose this week. SMC is ranked No. 20 in the USA Today/Coaches Poll and saw No. 19 Connecticut, No. 17 Indiana, No. 16 Mississippi State and No. 12 San Diego State all lose.

While Saint Mary's likely won't climb past all four, they provide a chance for some significant gain this week. The Gaels head into this week with a fairly light schedule, hosting San Diego on Thursday and having Saturday off. A week later they travel to Spokane for a huge road showdown with the Gonzaga Bulldogs. A win over Gonzaga would just about lock up the conference regular season title.

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College Basketball Rankings, Week 11: Saint Mary's Continues To Move Up ESPN/USA Today Coaches, Associated Press Polls

One week removed from Stanford receiving 16 votes in the Associated Press poll and Cal receiving two votes in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll, neither team could grab a vote this week as both polls came out today omitting both teams from the festivities.

Meanwhile, Saint Mary's continues its steady climb up the rankings as it sits at no. 21 in the AP and no. 20 in the Coaches poll with a 19-2 record.

The Gaels have won nine straight games including a blowout win over then-no. 23 Gonzaga on Jan. 12. The rematch is set for Feb. 9 but aside from that game, the Gaels are in prime position to stay ranked the rest of the season barring an upset.

Unfortunately for the Pac-12, Saint Mary's isn't in it.

Cal (16-5, 6-2 in Pac-12) has the biggest gripe but an away game loss to Washington State this week didn't help its cause. The Pac-12 is a weak conference this year and losing to teams in the bottom half isn't going to look good to voters. Stanford lost to both Washington and Washington State this past week, losing any momentum it had built up with the voters.

With Cal sitting atop the Pac-12 and not receiving votes, it left no chance for any team below it to grab one. The once powerful conference formerly known as the Pac-10 is having to claw its way into respectability.

Sad, sad times indeed.

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College Basketball Rankings, Week 10: ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll Moves Saint Mary's Into Top 25

The top of the West Coast Conference continues a strong start to the season as the Saint Mary's Gaels replaced the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the Top 25. Saint Mary's put together a strong week in which they knocked off the Bulldogs at home in Moraga, and bookended it with wins over San Francisco and Portland. SMC hosts Pepperdine and then travels to Santa Clara this week.

The Gaels are one of three teams with Gonzaga and BYU that are favored to win the conference. They have claimed their home games over both schools and have shot out to a 6-0 start in conference play. They will travel to Provo to face BYU on January 28 on ESPNU and then to Spokane to face Gonzaga on February 9 on ESPN2. Gonzaga and BYU will not square off until February 2 and February 23. SMC is in very solid position to claim the regular season conference title, but a split of the Gonzaga/BYU road games would put them in excellent position to take the title.

In other Bay Area news, Cal was the only Pac-12 school to receive votes, getting two votes. The Pac-12 remains a name conference but at the current pace of play, the WCC is putting together a stronger top of the class with Saint Mary's, Gonzaga and BYU all getting votes in the polls. It is possible the WCC could end up with more NCAA tournament teams than the Pac-12.

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College Basketball Rankings, Week 10: ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll, AP Poll Have Saint Mary's, Stanford Both Receiving Votes

The Week 10 ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll and AP Poll were released on Monday and the Bay Area has a pair of teams represented in the "Others Receiving Votes" category. The Saint Mary's Gaels are receiving 39 votes and are No. 27 in the Coaches Poll, and receiving 18 votes and ranked No. 31 in the AP Poll. The Stanford Cardinal are receiving five votes and are No. 35 in the Coaches Poll, and receiving nine votes and also No. 35 in the AP Poll.

Saint Mary's continues to gain ground in the rankings since their loss to a ranked Baylor squad, having won four straight, including their first three conference games. The Gaels opened conference play with a 98-82 thrashing of BYU at home and then went on the road to garner some fairly easy wins over Pepperdine and San Diego. The Gaels have a chance to build on that start as they host three WCC games this week against San Francisco, No. 23/21 Gonzaga and Portland. A sweep would likely be enough to get them into the Top 25 in at least the Coaches Poll.

Stanford split their Oregon road trip, losing 78-67 at Oregon and winning 103-101 in four overtimes at Oregon State. The split dropped them in both polls. Given the weakness of the Pac-12 in 2012, just about any loss is going to cost Stanford pretty badly.

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College Basketball Rankings, Week 7: AP Poll Has Cal, Stanford Both Receiving Votes

The College Basketball AP Top 25 poll came out today and both the California Golden Bears and Stanford Cardinal are on the outside looking in as the Pac-12 goes three straight weeks without a team in the top 25.

Though Cal sits at 9-2 on the season, its subpar schedule and uneven play could be the primary reason for its continual fall after being ranked no. 24 after week 4. Cal's last three games were wins over San Jose State, Jackson State and Weber State and its only game against a ranked opponent this season was a 92-53 blowout loss to then-no. 21, now-no. 9 Missouri on a neutral site. Cal received five votes this week.

It's Stanford who could be next in line to join the rankings as they are the mythical 28th ranked team in the country after receiving 61 votes this week. The Cardinal are 9-1 and proved they could play with anybody in the country when they narrowly lost to Syracuse, 69-63, on Nov. 25. The Cardinal beat the University of San Diego, 75-55, on Dec. 17 and play Bethune-Cookman tonight.

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College Basketball Rankings, Week 4: AP Poll Ranks Cal Bears No. 24

The close of week three of the college basketball season brings the week four college basketball rankings for your perusal. The Associated Press released their Week 4 rankings and dropped Cal to No. 24. The Bears had an up and down week and it cost them in the rankings. They opened with a win over Georgia, but were then clobbered by the now No. 13 Missouri Tigers in the CBE Classic Final. They rebounded with a strong home win over Denver.

The Bears are the early favorite in the Pac-12, which finds itself in a bit of a down year through the early portion of non-conference play. Arizona is receiving 15 votes and Stanford is receiving 3 votes. Had the Cardinal held on to defeat the now No. 4 Syracuse Orange, they very well might be in the Top 25. Oregon State also had a shot at moving up in the receiving votes category, but a Monday loss to No. 20 Vanderbilt cost them.

Cal opens the week on Monday with a home game against McNeese State before traveling to San Diego for a tough matchup with the San Diego State Aztecs. Following their loss to Missouri, this is the Bears next big test on the young season.

For more on Cal basketball, check out California Golden Blogs.

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Preseason College Basketball, Top 25: Cal Ranks 24th In AP Poll

Fans who are simply itching for some basketball have been counting down the days until the start of the 2011-12 NCAA basketball season, while the preseason AP poll is putting the rank and file to all the schools, combing through to find the best of the best. One of those teams just so happens to be the Cal Golden Bears, coming in under the wire at No. 24 in the preseason poll. 

North Carolina and Kentucky are the consensus No. 1 and No. 2 in the nation in both the AP and USA Today polls, with the Tar Heels getting a staggering amount of first place votes in both. In fact, the top seven schools mirror each other in both of the polls, with Ohio State, Connecticut, Syracuse, Duke, and Vanderbilt rounding out the top seven.     

As for Cal, They made it by the skin of their noses into the top 25, joined by Gonzaga (No. 23), UCLA (No. 17), and Arizona (No. 16) as the only West coast schools to make the grade, holding schools like Washington and UNLV just barely off the list. 

For more on Cal basketball, head over to California Golden Blogs to get your fix. 

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Preseason College Basketball Rankings, Top 25: Cal Ranks 24th In ESPN Preseason Poll

The ESPN/USA Today preseason college basketball rankings are out, and the California Golden Bears find themselves inside the top 25. Who else made the list?

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