The outcome was never really in doubt. Gonzaga was always going to win. But considering the Zags had been leading opponents by an average of more than 20 points at halftime this season, it was notable that they only led Pepperdine by four points after 20 minutes late Thursday inside the McCarthey Athletic Center.
Then they turned it on.
Gonzaga ended up beating Pepperdine 95-70 by outscoring the Waves by 21 points in the final 20 minutes. So Mark Few's team is now 13-0 with 12 double-digit wins — among them convincing victories over Kansas, Iowa and Virginia. The Zags are averaging a national-best 96.0 points per game. They've scored at least 85 points in every game. Their adjusted offensive-efficiency rating (123.7) is the best in the sport.
"We're not just going to blow everybody out in the first half," Few said in reference to the slow start, relatively speaking. "It's not going to happen."
That said, it will happen more often than it doesn't, largely because the Zags will be sizable favorites in every remaining game that's scheduled between now and Selection Sunday. The smart money now has them more likely than not to enter Selection Sunday with a perfect record and legitimate shot to eventually become the first undefeated national champion since Bob Knight's Indiana Hoosiers went 32-0 and won the 1976 NCAA Tournament.
Gonzaga remains No.1 in Friday morning's updated CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 daily college basketball rankings. The Zags' next game is Saturday at Saint Mary's,where KenPom projects them as 13-point favorites on the road.
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Friday's Top 25 And 1 rankings
|Gonzaga's perfect record is highlighted by double-digit wins over Kansas, Iowa and Virginia. The Zags are projected to be double-digit favorites in every remaining scheduled game from now through Selection Sunday. perfect record is highlighted by wins over Iowa, Kansas, West Virginia and Virginia. The Zags are the first team to score at least 85 points in each of their first 12 games since Loyola Marymount in the 1990-91 season.||--||31-1|
|Baylor has won every game it has played by double-digits. The Bears' perfect record is highlighted by a 13-point neutral-court victory over Illinois.||--||28-2|
|Michigan's perfect record is highlighted by double-digit wins over Wisconsin, Minnesota and Maryland. Eight of the Wolverines' 11 victories are in the first two quadrants.||--||23-5|
|Villanova's resume features wins over Texas, Marquette and Arizona State. The Wildcats have not played since Dec. 23 because of COVID-19 issues inside the program.||--||18-7|
|Creighton's resume features four wins over teams ranked in the top 80 of the NET. The Bluejays will take a six-game winning streak into Saturday's game at Butler.||--||22-9|
|Iowa's resume features wins over seven top-100 KenPom teams - among them Minnesota, Rutgers and North Carolina. The Hawkeyes will take a four-game winning streak into Thursday's game with Michigan State.||--||22-9|
|Six of Texas' 10 wins are in the first two quadrants - most notably a 25-point victory at Kansas. The Longhorns' only two losses are single-digit losses to Villanova and Texas Tech.||--||19-8|
|Tennessee's resume features four wins over teams ranked in the top 80 of the NET. The Vols will take a two-game winning streak into Tuesday's game at South Carolina.||--||18-9|
|Kansas' resume includes four wins over teams in the top 40 of the NET - most notably Creighton, West Virginia and Texas Tech. All three of the Jayhawks' losses have come to schools in the top 40 of the NET.||--||21-9|
|Six of West Virginia's nine wins have come against top-100 KenPom teams. All four of the Mountaineers' losses are considered Quadrant 1 losses.||--||19-10|
|Houston's resume features wins over Texas Tech, SMU and South Carolina. The Cougars will take a three-game winning streak into Thursday's game at South Florida.||--||28-4|
|Texas Tech's resume is highlighted by road wins at Texas and Oklahoma. The Red Raiders will take a three-game winning streak into Saturday's game with Baylor.||--||18-11|
|Maryland snapped Illinois' four-game winning streak on Sunday. The Illini still own six wins over top-100 KenPom teams - among them victories over Duke, Minnesota, Indiana and Purdue.||--||24-7|
|Wisconsin's resume is highlighted by wins over Minnesota, Louisville and Indiana. Two of the Badgers' three losses are to teams in the top 40 of the NET.||--||18-13|
|Minnesota's resume includes victories over Iowa, Ohio State and Saint Louis. All four of the Golden Gophers' losses are to teams ranked in the top 10 at KenPom.||--||14-15|
|Ohio State's resume is highlighted by wins over UCLA and Rutgers. The Buckeyes will take a two-game winning streak into Saturday's game at Illinois.||--||21-10|
|Louisville's only loss is a shorthanded loss at Wisconsin. The Cardinals will take a five-game winning streak into Saturday's game at Miami.||--||13-7|
|Saint Louis' resume features wins over NC State and LSU. The Billikens have not played since Dec. 23 because of COVID-19 issues inside the program.||--||14-7|
|Nick Honor made five 3-pointers and finished with 21 points in Tuesday's 74-70 overtime victory over NC State. The Tigers have seven victories over teams ranked in the top 100 at KenPom.||--||16-8|
|Oregon improved to 4-1 in the Pac-12 via Saturday's 79-73 victory at Utah. The Ducks' resume also includes wins over Stanford and Seton Hall.||--||21-7|
|UConn's resume is highlighted by wins over USC and Marquette. The Huskies will take a four-game winning streak into Monday's game with St. John's.||--||15-8|
|UCLA's resume features wins over Colorado, Arizona and Marquette. The Bruins will take a five-game winning streak into Saturday's game against Washington.||--||22-10|
|Rutgers has gone from 6-0 to 7-4 by losing four of its past five games, three of them by double-digits. The Scarlet Knights are 4-4 in Quadrant 1/Quadrant 2 opportunities with zero losses outside of the first two quadrants.||--||16-12|
|Two of Colorado's three losses are to Tennessee and UCLA. The Buffaloes will take a three-game winning streak into Saturday's game against Stanford.||--||23-9|
|USC's five-game winning streak features victories over Arizona and Arizona State. The Trojans' only two losses are to Connecticut and Colorado.||--||25-8|
|Virginia Tech's resume features wins over Villanova, Clemson and Duke. Both of the Hokies' losses are to teams in the top 50 of the NET.||--||15-7|