SPOKANE, Wash. – The raucous student section at No. 2 Gonzaga’s arena had no doubt where the Zags should be ranked when The Associated Press’ Top 25 comes out on Monday.
We’re No. 1! We’re No. 1! the students shouted as the clock wound down in Gonzaga’s 81-52 victory over Portland on Saturday.
Coach Mark Few was a little more restrained, noting the polls are out of his control.
It’s never happened here before, Few said of a No. 1 ranking. It would be an honor. If they think that highly of us we’ll take it.
But a minute later Few also betrayed some amazement that the little Jesuit school from Spokane could reach the pinnacle of college basketball.
At the end of the day, it would be pretty cool for Gonzaga to be No. 1, Few said. My first year here we won four Division I games.
Elias Harris scored 20 points and Kelly Olynyk added 15 points and 11 rebounds for Gonzaga (29-2, 16-0 West Coast), which had already clinched the West Coast Conference regular season title and the top seed in next weekend’s tournament. Gary Bell Jr. added 14 points.
No. 6 KANSAS 91, WEST VIRGINIA 65: In Lawrence, Kan., Ben McLemore scored a Kansas freshman-record 36 points, and Jeff Withey came within one block of a triple-double to lead the Jayhawks (25-4, 13-3 Big 12).
McLemore, a 6-foot-5 redshirt freshman, went to the bench with a little more than 5 minutes left after hitting 12 of 15 shots, including 5 of 6 from beyond the three-point arc. He had seven rebounds and four assists.
Withey’s nine blocks ran his Big 12-and Kansas-career record to 281. He had 14 points and 10 rebounds.
No. 8 FLORIDA 64, ALABAMA 52: In Gainesville, Fla., Casey Prather had 10 points and nine rebounds, most of them in the second half, and the Gators (23-5, 13-3 Southeastern Conference) rallied from an eight-point deficit.
No. 10 LOUISVILLE 58, No. 12 SYRACUSE 53: In Syracuse, N.Y., Luke Hancock hit a three-pointer from the corner to break a tie with 50 seconds left as the Cardinals (24-5, 12-4 Big East) handed the Orange (22-7, 10-6) their third straight loss for Syracuse .
Louisville snapped a three-game losing streak against Syracuse.
No. 13 KANSAS STATE 64, BAYLOR 61: In Waco, Texas, Rodney McGruder hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to lift the Wildcats..
No. 14 NEW MEXICO 53, WYOMING 42: In Albuquerque, N.M., Alex Kirk had 15 points and nine rebounds as the Lobos (25-4, 12-2 MWC) clinched the Mountain West Conference regular season title.
No. 15 OKLAHOMA ST. 78, TEXAS 65: In Stillwater, Okla., Markel Brown scored 18 points, and Le’Bryan Nash added 16 to lead the Cowboys (22-6, 12-4 Big 12).
No. 18 SAINT LOUIS 66, GEORGE WASHINGTON 58: In Washington, Dwayne Evans scored 22 points and Kwamain Mitchell added 18 as the Billikens (23-5, 12-2 Atlantic 10) won their 11th straight game.
No. 19 MEMPHIS 76, CENTRAL FLORIDA 67: In Orlando, Fla., Joe Jackson and Chris Crawford both scored 19 points the Tigers (25-4, 14-0 CUSA) claimed their eighth Conference USA championship.