Widely doubted as a truly elite team with viable staying power Gonzaga finished where no one thought it would ever even reach: at the top of the polls.
The Bulldogs took 29 of the 31 available first-place votes on Monday to close out the regular season ranked No. 1 in the USA Today Coaches’ Poll. Second-ranked Duke, fresh off an accomplished final week itself, scored the remaining two votes.
After a topsy-turvy week, Indiana checks in at No. 3, one spot lower than its previous ranking. The Hoosiers were glum losers on Senior Night to Ohio State, but bounced back as big winners over the weekend, clipping Michigan in a dramatic finish to seize the outright Big Ten regular season title.
One co-Big East champion leapfrogged another into the Top 5. Louisville hurdled fifth-ranked Georgetown to skip from sixth to fourth. The Hoyas, which lost to Villanova last week before drubbing Syracuse on Saturday to earn a share of the conference title, retained the No. 5 ranking for the second straight week.
Kansas (No. 6), Michigan State (No. 7), Michigan (No. 8), Ohio State (No. 9) and Miami (No. 10) round out the Top 10. In all, four Big Ten teams occupy a spot in the Top 10 while a fifth (No. 23 Wisconsin) held on to a rung in the back end of the Top 25. The Badgers fell into an offensive lull in an unsightly loss to the Spartans earlier in the week, only to bounce back with an exhilarating win in Happy Valley on a Traevon Jackson buzzer-beater.
Notre Dame and Oregon dropped out of the rankings, replaced by Missouri Valley Conference tournament winner Creighton (No. 24) and Pac-12 regular season champ UCLA (No. 25).
|USA Today Coaches Poll|
- Others receiving votes: Notre Dame 46, North Carolina 30, Butler 24, Colorado State 13, Belmont 9, Middle Tennessee 5, Missouri 4, San Diego State 2, Stephen F. Austin 1, UNLV 1, Wichita State 1, Kentucky 1, California 1
Topics: Basketball, Georgetown Hoyas, Gonzaga Bulldogs, Indiana Hoosiers, Kansas Jayhawks, Louisville Cardinals, Miami Hurricanes, Michigan State Spartans, Michigan Wolverines, Ohio State Buckeyes, Wisconsin Badgers