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Washington State vaults over UCLA in polls

Washington State's win over Gonzaga impressed the media representatives who vote in the Associated Press men's college basketball poll more than UCLA's win over Davidson because the Cougars switched places with the Bruins this week.

And USC's hard-fought loss to Memphis and its curious exhibition loss to Fresno Pacific dropped the Trojans out of any poll ranking. USC was 24th in last week's AP poll.

UCLA (8-1) is eighth in both the AP and the ESPN/USA Today coaches' polls. The Bruins were seventh in last week's AP poll. Washington State moved into seventh place in the AP poll and sixth in the coaches poll.

Two weeks ago, before losing to Texas, 63-61, UCLA was first in the coaches' poll and second in the AP poll.

On the strength of its win over San Diego State at the Wooden Classic last Saturday, St. Mary's moved into the AP poll for the first time since the 1988-89 season. The Gaels (7-0) are 24th in both polls. It is the first time since the 1973-74 season that the West Coast Conference has had two ranked teams. Gonzaga is the other.

North Carolina (8-0) stayed No. 1 in both polls. In the AP poll, the Tar Heels had 48 of the 72 first-place votes. Second-ranked Memphis (7-0) had 19 first-place votes, with third-ranked Kansas (9-0) and fourth-ranked Texas (9-0) each receiving two votes for the top spot and fifth-ranked Georgetown (7-0) receiving one.

Besides UCLA and Washington State, the other ranked Pacific 10 Conference teams are Oregon (16th in both polls) and Arizona (21st in AP and 22nd in the coaches' poll).

diane.pucin@latimes.com

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