I rarely punish teams on winning streaks. That’s the long and short of it. So even when Gonzaga had close calls this month against sub-80 NET teams like San Francisco, Santa Clara and BYU, I kept Mark Few’s program in the top five of the CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 because the Zags were still winning and, again, I rarely punish teams on winning streaks.
But the winning streak is now over.
Gonzaga lost 68-67 to Loyola Marymount late Thursday inside The Kennel despite closing as a 16.5-point favorite. So the Zags’ 11-game winning streak — featuring a victory over Alabama — is done. , as is Gonzaga’s streak of 93 straight victories against unranked opponents.
“It was going to end sometime, and it ended in a tough, hard-fought battle,” said Gonzaga coach Mark Few. “Our guys battled back [from nine points down] and had a shot to keep it going. … I don’t think anybody is going to touch that [75-game winning streak at The Kennel] for quite some time.”
All of the streaks that ended Thursday are amazing.
Ninety-three straight wins against unranked opponents. Seventy-five straight wins inside The Kennel (part of 76 total “home” games). Thirty-six straight wins in the month of January. It’s honestly not as crazy that the Zags finally lost a game like this as it is that the Zags had not lost a game like this in what felt like a billion years.
That’s important to remember.
Still, it is a rare — in fact, it’s the first ever — Quadrant 3 loss for the Zags, whose resume is suddenly dinged-up. They’re now 3-3 in Quadrant 1 and 5-0 in Quadrant 2 — or 8-3 in the first two quadrants with one additional loss falling in Q3. That’s not bad but also not quite top-10 good. Consequently, Gonzaga is down to No. 14 in Friday morning’s updated CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 daily college basketball rankings. The Zags’ next chance to add a Q1 win to help offset this Q3 loss will come two weeks from Saturday when they play at Saint Mary’s.
Top 25 And 1 rankings