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Gonzaga tops first AP Top 25 poll of 2020-21 season

Gonzaga

The 2020-21 college basketball season is right around the corner, and the Associated Press released the first Top 25 poll of the year on Monday. Gonzaga headlines the preseason poll at No. 1, with Baylor, Villanova, Virginia and Iowa rounding out the rest of the top five.

Some other programs made history with Top-10 selections. Illinois’ No. 8 ranking is the highest in a decade.

But the Bulldogs, who have won at least 31 games in each of the last four seasons, sit atop the rankings. This is the first time Gonzaga has earned a No. 1 preseason ranking.

Mark Few’s program has consistently been one of the best in the nation since he took over at the start of the millennium. The Bulldogs have made the NCAA Tournament in every season under Few–aside from last year’s cancellation–and are widely expected to be one of the top contenders this year.

Few said Monday he hopes his team will validate its preseason ranking:

β€œIt’s a great honor to be selected No. 1,” Few said, via Jim Meehan of the Spokesman-Review. β€œWe 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.”

The likes of Killian Tillie and Filip Petrusev are no longer in the mix for Gonzaga as those players prepare to make the jump to the NBA.

However, the ‘Zags return Corey Kispert and Joel Ayayi to the fold, and should also be bolstered by the presence of five-star freshman Jalen Suggs.

Gonzaga will face off against preseason No. 2, Baylor, on Dec. 5 in Indianapolis.