It was closer than it should've been, especially late. But Gonzaga eventually closed things Monday night on an 11-0 run and beat Kent State 73-66 to avoid taking a fourth loss way earlier than normal.
Drew Timme was the difference.
The CBS Sports Preseason National Player of the Year took 16 shots, made 11 of them and finished with 29 points and 17 rebounds. He's now averaging a career-high 19.8 points and a career-high 8.2 rebounds for a Gonzaga team that remains No. 12 in Tuesday morning's updated CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 daily college basketball rankings.
"[Timme] was heroic," said Gonzaga coach Mark Few. "He wasn't really looking for the ball much early and wasn't demanding it. … He was splitting the defense and scoring in a variety of ways like he does. To end up with 17 boards is monster — and we needed every one of them."
The come-from-behind win improved Gonzaga to 6-3, which is obviously an unusual record for a program that's been a No. 1 seed in each of the past three NCAA Tournaments. But it's not as bad as some have made it out to be.
Are the Zags as good they typically are?
But it should be noted that Gonzaga's three losses are to the teams ranked No. 1 (Texas), No. 3 (Purdue) and No. 11 (Baylor) in the Top 25 And 1. Nothing embarrassing there. And the Zags already own wins over the teams ranked No. 5 (Kentucky), No. 31 (Xavier) and No. 46 (Michigan State) at KenPom.com. That's three top-50 KenPom wins in early December, which is nothing to scoff at.
Bottom line, Gonzaga does seem unlikely to get a No. 1 seed for a fourth straight NCAA Tournament. I can acknowledge that much. But the Zags are still probably one of the best 15 teams in the country, and it would be nice if everybody could remember that when discussing them one month into this season.
Top 25 And 1 rankings
|Marcus Carr finished with 19 points and five assists in Thursday's 72-67 win over Creighton. The Longhorns' next game is Tuesday against Illinois.||--||18-4|
|J'Wan Roberts finished with 15 points and eight rebounds in Saturday's 53-48 win over Saint Mary's. The Cougars' next game is Tuesday against North Florida.||--||21-2|
|Zach Edey finished with 31 points and 22 rebounds in Sunday's 89-70 win over Minnesota. The Boilermakers' next game is Wednesday against Hofstra.||--||22-1|
|Kihei Clark finished with 18 points and three assists in Saturday's 62-57 win over Florida State. The Cavaliers' next game is Tuesday against James Madison.||--||17-3|
|Jordan Hawkins finished with 26 points and two rebounds in Thursday's 74-64 win over Oklahoma State. The Huskies' next game is Wednesday at Florida.||--||17-6|
|Trevon Brazile finished with 23 points and five rebounds in Saturday's 99-58 win over San Jose State. The Razorbacks' next game is Tuesday against UNC Greensboro.||--||15-7|
|Noah Clowney finished with 22 points and nine rebounds in Saturday's 78-65 win over South Dakota State. The Crimson Tide's next game is Saturday at Houston.||--||19-3|
|Jahmir Young finished with 24 points and four rebounds in Friday's 71-66 win over Illinois. The Terrapins' next game is Tuesday at Wisconsin.||--||15-7|
|Tolu Smith finished with 24 points and six rebounds in Saturday's 82-52 win over Mississippi Valley State. The Bulldogs' next game is Sunday at Minnesota.||--||14-8|
|Indiana missed 19 of the 25 3-pointers it attempted in Saturday's 63-48 loss at Rutgers. The Hoosiers' next game is Wednesday against Nebraska.||--||15-7|
|Keyonte George finished with 18 points and six rebounds in Friday's 64-63 win over Gonzaga. The Bears' next game is Tuesday against Tarleton State.||--||16-6|
|Drew Timme finished with 29 points and 17 rebounds in Monday's 73-66 win over Kent State. The Zags' next game is Friday against Washington.||--||18-4|
|Cason Wallace finished with 14 points and eight rebounds in Sunday's 73-69 win over Michigan. The Wildcats' next game is Saturday against Yale.||--||15-7|
|Terrence Shannon missed all five 3-pointers he attempted in Friday's 71-66 loss at Maryland. The Illini's next game is Tuesday against Texas.||--||16-6|
|Azuolas Tubelis finished with 25 points and 12 rebounds in Sunday's 81-68 win over California. The Wildcats' next game is Saturday against Indiana.||--||19-3|
|Olivier Nkamhoua finished with 20 points and six assists in Sunday's 94-40 win over Alcorn State. The Vols' next game is Wednesday against Eastern Kentucky.||--||18-4|
|Kevin McCullar finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds in Thursday's 91-65 win over Seton Hall. The Jayhawks' next game is Saturday at Missouri.||--||18-4|
|Mark Mitchell finished with 15 points and four rebounds in Saturday's 75-59 win over Boston College. The Blue Devils' next game is Tuesday against Iowa.||--||16-6|
|Jaren Holmes finished with 14 points and three rebounds in Sunday's 71-60 win over St. John's. The Cyclones' next game is Thursday at Iowa.||--||15-6|
|Amari Bailey finished with 14 points and five rebounds in Sunday's 65-56 win over Oregon. The Bruins' next game is Saturday against Denver.||--||18-4|
|Johni Broome finished with 13 points and nine rebounds in Friday's 93-66 win over Colgate. The Tigers' next game is Saturday against Memphis.||--||17-5|
San Diego St
|Darrion Trammell finished with 14 points and four assists in Monday's 60-55 win over Troy. The Aztecs' next game is Saturday against Saint Mary's.||--||17-5|
|Arthur Kaluma and Ryan Nembhard combined to go 0-of-12 from 3-point range in Sunday's 63-53 loss to Nebraska. The Bluejays' next game is Saturday against BYU.||--||14-8|
|Marquette allowed Wisconsin to shoot 50.8% from the field in Saturday's 80-77 loss to Wisconsin. The Golden Eagles' next game is Tuesday against North Carolina Central.||--||18-5|
|Brice Sensabaugh finished with 15 points and two assists in Saturday's 96-59 win over St. Franis. The Buckeyes' next game is Thursday against Rutgers.||--||11-11|
|Jaylon Tyson finished with 18 points and nine rebounds in Wednesday's 79-65 win over Georgetown. The Red Raiders' next game is Wednesday against Nicholls State.||--||12-10|