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How Auburn Finished Behind Gonzaga in AP Poll Despite 11 More First-Place Votes

In the latest AP Poll, Auburn was edged out by Gonzaga for the No. 1 spot despite receiving eleven more first-place votes. Here's why. 

The Tigers got 36 first-place votes while the Bulldogs received just 25 and ended up getting 1,486 overall points compared to Auburn's 1,482. The reason for the vote shaking out the way it did can be traced to two specific writers. 

The Mercury News's Jon Wilner voted for Gonzaga as No. 1, but also had Auburn at No. 6. 

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The Kansas City Star's Jesse Newell gave Gonzaga the top spot but had Auburn all the way down at No. 9. He placed three-loss Villanova at No. 3, Houston at No. 4 and Kentucky at No. 7. All three of those teams ended up being outside the top 10 in this week's AP Poll. He addressed his line of thinking when he received backlash.

“You start with what we’re trying to do with the AP poll,” Newell told al.com. “I think we all could have different answers, and reasonable minds could disagree about what we’re doing here, you know what I mean? To me, it goes down to two basic trains of thought: Are you trying to rank the best teams or are you trying to rank the most deserving teams?”

Auburn has compiled a 16–1 record with its lone loss coming at the hands of No. 25 UConn 115–109 in double overtime on Nov. 24. Gonzaga is 14–2 and has losses to both No. 6 Duke and unranked Alabama. 

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