Gonzaga takes over the top spot in the latest USA TODAY Sports coaches poll

Any team can be beaten by anyone on any given night, except Gonzaga this year so far. Last night was one of two likely chances remaining in the regular season where Gonzaga could have lost. The Bulldogs didn’t.

A nice win at BYU keeps the Zags undefeated with their last best chance to lose coming up on Feb. 11 at Saint Mary’s. Win that and they will likely finish the regular season undefeated. Quite an impressive feat considering they did play a solid non-conference schedule.

While Gonzaga is ranked No. 1, Kansas still remains the top overall seed with a more impressive tourney résumé. The Jayhawks have proved themselves in their two victories — Saturday on the road at Kentucky and Wednesday night vs. Baylor.

Other teams helping their case Thursday were California, which outlasted Utah in double overtime, and Michigan State, which won on the road against Nebraska.

► No. 1 seeds: Kansas, Villanova, Baylor, Gonzaga

► Last four in: California, Michigan, Georgetown, Iowa State

► First four out: Seton Hall, Wake Forest, Rhode Island, Syracuse

► Others considered for at-large bids (in no particular order): Illinois, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Kansas State, Providence, Nebraska, Stanford, Wichita State, Texas A&M, Houston, Memphis, Ohio State, Iowa, Ole Miss, Auburn, Alabama, Vanderbilt, Texas Tech, Miami, Charleston, Temple, Georgia, Utah, North Carolina State

► No longer considered: UConn, Texas, Texas-Arlington, Charleston, New Mexico, Boise State, LaSalle, Davidson, Chattanooga, Saint Bonaventure, Saint Joseph’s, BYU, Oklahoma.

►  Multi-bid conferences: ACC (9), Big Ten (8), Big East (6), Big 12 (6), Pac-12 (5), SEC (5), A-10 (2), AAC (2), WCC (2).


Conference Leaders

►  Or highest RPI from projected one-bid conferences – (23 total): Vermont (America East), Florida Gulf Coast (Atlantic Sun), Weber State (Big Sky), Winthrop (Big South), UC Irvine (Big West), UNC-Wilmington (CAA), Middle Tennessee State (Conference USA), Valparaiso (Horizon), Yale (Ivy League), Monmouth (MAAC), Akron (MAC), NC Central (MEAC), Illinois State (Missouri Valley), Nevada (Mountain West), Mount Saint Mary’s (Northeast), Belmont (Ohio Valley), Bucknell (Patriot), East Tennessee State (Southern), Sam Houston (Southland), Texas Southern (SWAC), North Dakota State (Summit), Arkansas State (Sun Belt), New Mexico State (WAC).

  • Banned from participating: Hawaii, Southern Mississippi, Alcorn State, Savannah State, Northern Colorado
  • Transition Schools, ineligible for the tourney: Abilene Christian (Southland), Grand Canyon (WAC), Incarnate Word (Southland), Massachusetts-Lowell (American East)    


Note: All RPI and statistical data is used from

About our bracketologist: Shelby Mast has been projecting the field since 2005 and has finished as one of the top 5 national bracketologists for his website, Bracket W.A.G. He’s predicted for The Indianapolis Star, and is an inaugural member of the Super 10 Selection Committee. Follow him on Twitter @BracketWag.