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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.