March. 2, 2013; Spokane, WA, USA; Members of the Gonzaga Bulldogs mens basketball team hold up the West Coast Conference championship trophy after a game against against the Portland Pilots at the McCarthey Athletic Center. Gonzaga won 81-52. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

College Basketball: Gonzaga Closes Regular Season Atop AP Poll

However Monday night’s West Coast Conference championship game plays out, Gonzaga will wear the No. 1 mantle into and throughout the NCAA tournament.

The Bulldogs received 54 first-place votes from the 65-member national media panel on Monday to retain the top spot in the AP Poll for the second straight week. Duke, which received the other 11 first-place votes, climbed one rung to second after clubbing Virginia Tech at home and North Carolina in Chapel Hill last week. Indiana dropped one place to third after falling to Ohio State in Bloomington, then rallying for a thrilling win at Michigan to clinch the Big Ten title outright.

Louisville jumped from eighth to fourth, leapfrogging Big East co-champion Georgetown, which held serve at No. 5. The Cardinals closed out the season riding a seven-game winning streak that dates back to the team’s five-overtime loss in South Bend to Notre Dame. The Hoyas earned a share of the Big East title and the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament at Madison Square Garden by thumping longtime nemesis Syracuse at the Verizon Center over the weekend. Georgetown had lost to Villanova earlier in the week.

Michigan(No. 6), Kansas (No. 7), Michigan State (No. 8), Miami (No. 9) and Ohio State (No. 10) complete the Top 10. Despite Sunday’s loss in Ann Arbor, the Wolverines actually moved up one spot in front of the Hurricanes, late losers at home to Georgia Tech in the midweek. The Buckeyes, which ended the season on a five-game surge and with wins over a quartet of tournament teams (Minnesota, Michigan State, Indiana and Illinois), moved back into the Top 10 for the first time in more than a month.

The lone newcomer to the poll this week is Missouri Valley Conference champion Creighton, which rejoins the fray after a four-week absence. The Bluejays, winners over Wichita State in a dramatic title game in St. Louis, replace Oregon, which dropped out from 19th after losing twice in the week.

AP Top 25
1 Gonzaga (54) 30-2 1,611
2 Duke (11) 27-4 1,559
3 Indiana 26-5 1,491
4 Louisville 26-5 1,421
5 Georgetown 24-5 1,344
6 Michigan 25-6 1,230
7 Kansas 26-5 1,224
8 Michigan State 24-7 1,184
9 Miami (FL) 24-6 1,082
10 Ohio State 23-7 1,073
11 Kansas State 25-6 932
12 Marquette 23-7 921
13 Florida 24-6 838
14 Oklahoma State 23-7 805
15 New Mexico 26-5 771
16 Saint Louis 24-6 557
17 Pittsburgh 24-7 551
18 Arizona 24-6 523
19 Syracuse 23-8 362
20 Memphis 27-4 316
21 UCLA 23-8 245
22 Wisconsin 21-10 191
23 Creighton 27-7 190
24 Notre Dame 23-8 171
25 Virginia Commonwealth 24-7 157
  • Others receiving votes: Saint Mary’s 117, Butler 105, North Carolina 49, Colorado State 48, Temple 20, Belmont 13, UNLV 7, Wichita State 6, Kentucky 5, Oregon 4, Valparaiso 1, Villanova 1

Tags: Basketball Creighton Blue Jays Duke Blue Devils Georgetown Hoyas Gonzaga Bulldogs Indiana Hoosiers Kansas Jayhawks Louisville Cardinals Miami Hurricanes Michigan State Spartans Michigan Wolverines Ohio State Buckeyes Oregon Ducks

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