AP NEWS

Second loss to BYU dropped Gonzaga women just two spots in AP poll

February 19, 2019

Perhaps Gonzaga’s loss to BYU last weekend wasn’t as costly as some fans feared.

Thanks to some favorable results around the nation, the Zags dropped only two spots, to 15th, in the Associated Press poll released Monday.

They also remained 13th in the Rating Percentage Index, or RPI, the main barometer used by the women’s selection committee.

In the AP poll, the Zags were passed by Iowa and Miami. It could have been worse, but Texas and Syracuse – ranked 15th and 16th last week – both lost over the weekend.

Last week, the NCAA’s first bracket reveal had GU 14th overall. The top 16 teams will host first- and second-round games on March 22-25.

The second and final reveal will be held on March 4. By then, the Zags will be finished with the regular season and preparing for the West Coast Conference Tournament in Las Vegas.

Selection Monday is March 18.

The Zags are 23-3 overall and 12-2 in the WCC. They lead second-place BYU by one game in the loss column, but may need to win out and take the postseason tournament as well in order to host NCAA Tournament games.

That’s because their strength of schedule, currently 55th, will drop after upcoming regular-season games Thursday at Santa Clara (currently 171st in RPI) at USF (250th), Pepperdine (128th) and Loyola Marymount (97th).

On the other hand, the WCC ranks eighth overall in conference RPI, and the losses to BYU are mitigated now that the Cougars are up to 25th in RPI.

“We’ve got a lot of season left and then the postseason,” GU coach Lisa Fortier said Saturday. “Right now we have to figure out a few things.”