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|
- 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
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