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Daniel Wilco | | November 27, 2018

Gonzaga leapfrogs Kansas, Duke, to take No. 1 spot in AP Top 25 rankings

Andy Katz breaks down his Power 36 and weekly honors

After a tumultuous Feast Week, there’s some predictable changes in the AP Top 25.

Gonzaga, which beat then-No. 1 Duke on Wednesday, leapfrogged Kansas to take the top spot in the poll, as the Blue Devils fell to No. 3.

Here’s the full AP Top 25:

1 Gonzaga (32) 6-0 1590 3
2 Kansas (31) 5-0 1584 2
3 Duke (1) 5-1 1486 1
4 Virginia (1) 6-0 1396 4
5 Nevada 6-0 1329 6
6 Tennessee 4-1 1284 5
7 Michigan 6-0 1213 9
8 Auburn 5-1 1129 8
9 Michigan State 5-1 1111 11
10 Kentucky 5-1 1022 10
11 North Carolina 6-1 943 7
12 Kansas State 6-0 936 12
13 Virginia Tech 5-0 921 13
14 Iowa 5-0 599 20
15 Florida State 5-1 581 14
16 Ohio State 6-0 511 23
17 Texas 5-1 486 NR
18 Oregon 4-1 439 21
19 Purdue 5-1 387 24
20 Texas Tech 6-0 380 NR
21 Buffalo 5-0 351 22
22 Wisconsin 5-1 253 25
23 Villanova 5-2 217 NR
24 Maryland 6-0 170 NR
25 Mississippi State 4-1 161 15

The Bulldogs looked unstoppable in Maui, thanks in large part to their star junior forward Rui Hachimura. In the three games against Illinois, Arizona, and Duke, Hachimura went for 23 points, 24 points and 20 points. Against the Blue Devils, he added seven rebounds and three blocks. The end of that game also showcased how strong Gonzaga can be with its back against the wall. Up 89-87 with 1:45 left, the Bulldogs' defense got four blocks and forced seven missed shots to pull off the upset.

Keep in mind, the Bulldogs are doing all this without Killian Tillie, who is likely out until January with a stress fracture in his ankle.

RELATED: Here are 11 reasons why Gonzaga's Cinderella status is ancient history, and here come 15 days to prove it again

The only other major movement in the Top 10 came from North Carolina, which lost to Texas 82-79 in the Las Vegas Invitational despite 33 points from freshman Coby White. North Carolina dropped from No. 7 to No. 11 after the loss, while the Longhorns entered the rankings at No. 17, now 5-1 after falling to Michigan State 78-68 in the championship of that tournament.

The Tar Heels have a brutal stretch coming up with three Top 10 opponents in its next four games in No. 7 Michigan, No. 10 Kentucky, and No. 1 Gonzaga.

Speaking of Gonzaga, the Bulldogs weren’t the runaway favorite for first place this week. Kansas received 31 first-place votes to Gonzaga’s 32 and finished just six total points behind (1,590 to 1,584), making this the closest top two this season. 

RELATED: 5 things we learned from college basketball's Thanksgiving tournaments

The Jayhawks continued their undefeated season with a 77-68 win over Marquette and an 87-81 overtime win against No. 5 Tennessee at the NIT Season Tip-Off. That win against the Volunteers was Kansas’ second over a Top 10 team this season, after it opened the season with a win over then-No. 10 Michigan State. Memphis transfer Dedric Lawson looked phenomenal in the tournament, combining for 50 points and 25 rebounds in the two games.

After that game, Tennessee fell one spot to No. 6, with undefeated Nevada taking over at No. 5. 

Michigan State moved back into the Top 10 after beating UCLA and Texas in the Las Vegas Invitational.

Both games were impressive for entirely different reasons. Against UCLA, the Spartans shot 51.6 percent from the field and 54.2 percent from beyond the arc en route to a blowout win, 87-67. In the championship game vs. Texas, fresh off an upset of North Carolina, Michigan State found itself in a deep hole early, trailing by 25-6 with 11:21 left to play in the first half. But the Spartans closed the gap to eight by halftime, and ran away with the game in the second half, winning 78-68.

Elsewhere in the Top 25, Iowa jumped up in the rankings after demolishing Alabama State 105-78. The Hawkeyes now have four players averaging double digit points in one of the best-shooting offenses in the country — hitting 48.7 percent of their shots from the field.

Now, teams are preparing for the meat of their non-conference schedules. Expect a lot of shakeup in the Top 25 before conference play begins.

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