The Gonzaga Bulldogs became the top-ranked team in the Associated Press and the Coaches Poll college basketball rankings on Monday for the first time in school history.
Gonzaga is No. 1 in the new AP poll, followed by Indiana, Duke, Kansas, and Georgetown. Gonzaga received 51 first place votes. Indiana received 7, Duke received 5. Georgetown, another surging team that is making a strong case for a No. 1 seed, received 2.
In the Coaches Poll, Gonzaga is No. 1, followed by Indiana, Kansas, Duke, and Georgetown.
When head coach Mark Few took over the small Jesuit school program 14 years ago, the team won only four games. Few has built a dominant mid-major program. Coaches like Butler’s Brad Stevens and VCU’s Shaka Smart have used Gonzaga’s blueprint for their programs.
Gonzaga won at BYU last week and then closed out the West Coast Conference (WCC) season by thumping Portland on Saturday to finish undefeated in the conference, resting their case for the No. 1 ranking and potential No. 1 seed in the tournament.
The Bulldogs are also the first team from the West Coast Conference to be ranked No. 1 since San Francisco, led by Bill Cartwright, in 1977. They are also the first team from outside the “Power 6″ conference to achieve the top ranking since Memphis in 2008.
If Gonzaga wins the WCC conference tournament, they will most likely also be a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament in two weeks.