March. 2, 2013; Spokane, WA, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Elias Harris (center) talks to the crowd after a game against the Portland Pilots at the McCarthey Athletic Center. Gonzaga won 81-52. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

College Basketball: Gonzaga New No. 1 in AP Poll for First Time

After a lengthy wait on the doorstep of the top spot, Gonzaga is the new No. 1 for the first time in school history.

The Bulldogs, which tote college basketball’s best record (29-2) and were the only Top 5 outfit not to lose last week, snatched the coveted ranking, capitalizing on losses by Duke, Indiana, Miami and Michigan. The small school in eastern Washington took 51 of the 65 available first-place votes.

Indiana (No. 2), Duke (No. 3), Kansas (No. 4) and Georgetown (No. 5) trail Gonzaga in the poll. The Hoosiers lured seven first-place votes, the Blue Devils reeled in five and the Hoyas the remaining two.

Miami and Michigan State each slipped one spot from fifth to sixth and ninth to tenth, respectively. The Hurricanes and Spartans each dropped their rematches with teams they thumped at home earlier in the season. Ryan Kelly and Duke avenged their 27-point loss in Coral Gables over the weekend with a narrow three-point win over Miami while Michigan clipped its in-state rival by one in Ann  Arbor.

Michigan, despite the win, slipped from fourth to seventh thanks to a midweek loss to Penn State, which had previously been winless in conference. Louisville moved up two spots to eighth and Kansas State snuck into the Top 10 for the first time at No. 9. Florida fell out of the Top 10, landing at No. 11, in light of its loss to Tennessee in Rocky Top during the week.

Butler (previously No. 20), spiraled out of the poll after its 32-point embarrassment in Richmond against Virginia Commonwealth. Louisiana Tech, which sports the longest active winning streak at 18 games, exited the rankings as well despite winning its two games by an average of 25 points. Wisconsin, which lost at a head-scratcher at home to Purdue on Senior Day, hung on in the poll at No. 22. The Badgers own the most losses (9) of any ranked team.

VCU (No. 21) and UCLA (No. 23), both ranked earlier in the season, reappeared in the Top 25. The Bruins made their triumphant return after a 14-week hiatus.

AP Top 25
1 Gonzaga (51) 29-2 1,607
2 Indiana (7) 25-4 1,517
3 Duke (5) 25-4 1,471
4 Kansas 25-4 1,433
5 Georgetown (2) 23-4 1,384
6 Miami (FL) 23-5 1,245
7 Michigan 24-5 1,240
8 Louisville 24-5 1,217
9 Kansas State 24-5 1,040
10 Michigan State 22-7 1,006
11 Florida 23-5 993
12 New Mexico 25-4 950
13 Oklahoma State 22-6 833
14 Ohio State 21-7 763
15 Marquette 21-7 687
16 Saint Louis 23-5 675
17 Syracuse 22-7 589
18 Arizona 23-6 394
19 Oregon 23-6 332
20 Pittsburgh 23-7 326
21 Virginia Commonwealth 23-6 277
22 Wisconsin 20-9 217
23 UCLA 22-7 196
24 Notre Dame 22-7 164
25 Memphis 25-4 149
  • Others receiving votes: North Carolina 109, Louisiana Tech 103, Saint Mary’s 47, UNLV 43, California 33, Butler 26, Illinois 25, Minnesota 10, Creighton 7, Middle Tennessee 5, Akron 4, Missouri 4, Belmont 3, Colorado State 1

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