College Basketball Power Rankings: Gonzaga takes top spot

Wild losses for top-10 teams helps Bulldogs take No. 1 in our power rankings

Gonzaga will hope this isn’t the last time for firsts.

Mark Few’s team earned its first No. 1 ranking in the Associated Press poll this week, and the Athlon Sports power rankings will follow suit with the Bulldogs atop our weekly basketball power rankings.

Gonzaga completed an undefeated run through the West Coast Conference and hasn’t lost since a Jan. 19 defeat on a buzzer beater to Butler in Hinkle Fieldhouse. This may be the best Gonzaga team under Few, giving the Zags a chance to reach their first Sweet 16 since 2009, or first Elite Eight since 1999 or first Final Four in school history.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Conference tournaments begin this week for Gonzaga and a handful of other conferences while the power conferences wrap up their regular seasons.

Opening the door for Gonzaga to take the top spot were a handful of head-scratching losses by top-10 teams: Duke to Virginia, Michigan to Penn State, Indiana to Minnesota and so on.

Related: Key stats from Feb. 25-March 3


1. Gonzaga (29-2, 16-0 West Coast)
Last week’s rank: 3
Last week’s results: Defeated BYU 70-65, defeated Portland 81-52
This week: West Coast Conference Tournament
Buzz: Pressure will be on Zags to live up to hype in NCAAs.

2. Duke (25-4, 12-4 ACC)
Last week’s rank: 6
Last week’s results: Lost to Virginia 73-68, defeated Miami 79-76
This week: Virginia Tech, at North Carolina
Buzz: Ryan Kelly’s return makes Duke very difficult to guard.

3. Indiana (25-4, 13-3 Big Ten)
Last week’s rank: 1
Last week’s results: Lost to Minnesota 77-73, defeated Iowa 73-60
This week: Ohio State, at Michigan
Buzz:Hoosiers closing in on first Big Ten title since 2002 and first outright title since 1993.

Debate: Zeller or Oladipo for Indiana's MVP

4. Georgetown (23-4, 13-3 Big East)
Last week’s rank: 4
Last week’s results: Defeated Connecticut 79-78 (2OT), defeated Rutgers 64-51
This week: at Villanova, Syracuse
Buzz: The Hoyas didn’t lose a game in February.

5. Michigan (24-5, 11-5 Big Ten)
Last week’s rank: 2
Last week’s results: Lost to Penn State 84-78, Michigan State 58-57
This week: at Purdue, Indiana
Buzz: Trey Burke buckles down on defense against MSU.

6. Miami (23-5, 14-2 ACC)
Last week’s rank: 5
Last week’s results: Defeated Virginia Tech 76-58, lost to Duke 79-76
This week: Georgia Tech, Clemson
Buzz: Canes battled back against Duke but lost a heartbreaker.

7. Kansas (26-4, 14-3 Big 12)
Last week’s rank: 10
Last week’s results: Defeated Iowa State 108-96 (OT), defeated West Virginia 91-65, defeated Texas Tech 79-42
This week: Texas Tech, at Baylor
Buzz: We still can’t believe this team lost to TCU.

8. Louisville (24-5, 13-4 Big East)
Last week’s rank: 12
Last week’s results: Defeated DePaul 79-58, defeated Syracuse 58-53, defeated Cincinnati 67-51
This week: Notre Dame
Buzz: The Cardinals are playing well at the right time of year.

9. Michigan State (22-7, 11-5 Big Ten)
Last week’s rank: 9
Last week’s results: Lost to Michigan 58-57
This week: Wisconsin, Northwestern
Buzz: Spartans need Keith Appling to play well to survive in March.

10. Florida (23-5, 13-3 SEC)
Last week’s rank: 8
Last week’s results: Lost to Tennessee 64-58, defeated Alabama 64-52
This week: Vanderbilt, at Kentucky
Buzz: Injuries have been a factor in Gators’ recent struggles.

11. Kansas State (24-5, 13-3 Big 12)
Last week’s rank: 13
Last week’s results: Defeated Baylor 64-61
This week: TCU, at Oklahoma State
Buzz: Rodney McGruder came through in the clutch in Waco.

12. Oklahoma State (22-6, 12-4 Big 12)
Last week’s rank: 14
Last week’s results: Defeated TCU 64-47, defeated Texas 78-65
This week: at Iowa State, Kansas State
Buzz: Marcus is the Smart choice for Freshman of the Year.

13. New Mexico (25-4, 12-2 Mountain West)
Last week’s rank: 16
Last week’s results: Defeated San Diego State 70-60, Wyoming 53-42
This week: at Nevada, at Air Force
Buzz: Red-hot Lobos have clinched the outright MWC title.

14. Syracuse (22-7, 10-6 Big East)
Last week’s rank: 13
Last week’s results: Lost to Louisville 58-53
This week: DePaul, at Georgetown
Buzz: Orange attack has been offensive during recent three-game slide.

15. Ohio State (21-7, 11-5 Big Ten)
Last week’s rank: 15
Last week’s results: Defeated Northwestern 63-53
This week: at Indiana, Illinois
Buzz: Bucks finally have more than one double-digit scorer.

16. Marquette (21-7, 12-4 Big East)
Last week’s rank: 17
Last week’s results: Defeated Notre Dame 72-64
This week: at Rutgers, at St. John’s
Buzz: Buzz Williams working miracles in Milwaukee once again.

17. Saint Louis (23-5, 12-2 Atlantic 10)
Last week’s rank: 20
Last week’s results: Defeated St. Joseph’s 70-53, defeated George Washington 66-58
This week: at Xavier, La Salle
Buzz: Jim Crews hoping to make this a permanent gig.

18. UCLA (22-7, 12-4 Pac-12)
Last week’s rank: NR
Last week’s results: Defeated Arizona State 79-74 (OT), defeated Arizona 74-69
This week: at Washington, at Washington State
Buzz: Bruins hit the road for key games in Washington.

19. Oregon (23-6, 12-4 Pac-12)
Last week’s rank: NR
Last week’s results: Defeated Oregon State 85-75
This week: at Colorado, at Utah
Buzz: Dominic Artis’ return boosts Ducks’ postseason hopes.

20. Notre Dame (22-7, 10-6 Big East)
Last week’s rank: 21
Last week’s results: Lost to Marquette 72-64
This week: St. John’s, at Louisville
Buzz: Jack Cooley only player in Big East averaging a double-double.

21. Pittsburgh (23-7, 11-6 Big East)
Last week’s rank: 22
Last week’s results: Defeated USF 64-44, defeated Villanova 73-64 (OT)
This week: at DePaul
Buzz: Pitt tops Villanova in its final home game in the Big East.

22. Arizona (23-6, 11-6 Pac-12)
Last week’s rank: 7
Last week’s results: Lost to USC 89-78, lost to UCLA 74-69
This week: Arizona State
Buzz: Cats having trouble scratching out wins these days. 

23. North Carolina (21-8, 11-5 ACC)
Last week’s rank: NR
Last week’s results: Defeated Clemson 68-59, defeated Florida State 79-58
This week: at Maryland, Duke
Buzz: Small ball working wonders for Roy Williams’ team.

24. Wisconsin (20-9, 11-5 Big Ten)
Last week’s rank: 19
Last week’s results: Defeated Nebraska 77-46, lost to Purdue 69-56
This week: at Michigan State, at Penn State
Buzz: Senior Night sadness as Badgers lose to Purdue.

25. VCU (23-6, 11-3 Atlantic 10)
Last week’s rank: NR
Last week’s results: Defeated Butler 84-52
This week: Richmond, at Temple
Buzz:Rams wreak havoc on overwhelmed Butler.

Out: No. 18 Memphis, No. 23 Colorado State, No. 24 Butler, No. 25 Connecticut

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