SPOKANE – Gonzaga University’s men’s basketball team achieved its highest Associated Press Top 25 ranking ever Monday and equaled its highest USA Today ranking when the Bulldogs checked in at No. 2 in both weekly polls.
Gonzaga’s No. 3 ranking last week equaled the best previous AP ranking. The Bulldogs received one first-place vote this week and 1,530 points to out-distance third-place Duke University with 1,461 points. Indiana University received the other 64 first-place votes and is No. 1 with 1,624 points.
The Bulldogs, third in the USA Today poll last, was ranked second March 15, 2004, when they got one first-place vote behind Stanford University in the voting of coaches. The Zags received three first-place votes and 738 points while No. 3 Duke had 700 points. Indiana received the other 28 first-place votes and 772 points.
Gonzaga downed Santa Clara University and the University of San Diego last week to run its overall record to 27-2 and its West Coast Conference mark to 14-0. Gonzaga’s 27 wins and 93.1 winning percentage both lead NCAA Division I.
“The polls mean a lot more this time of year than they do in November and December, even January, so all of us are being judged on the true body of work. It’s definitely rewarding,” Gonzaga head coach Mark Few said. “It establishes us as a national program which I feel we have been for the last 10 years. This group has done a great job of competing at that level; winning games at the highest level.”
The Bulldogs will receive a stern test Thursday when they travel to Provo, Utah, to meet BYU. Gonzaga downed the Cougars at home earlier this season and the Zags will be looking to avenge last year’s 83-73 setback in their inaugural trip to BYU, which joined the WCC last season.
Gonzaga will conclude the regular season Saturday at home against the University of Portland in a 1:30 p.m. matinee.