Streaking Gonzaga rises to No. 1 in Associated Press poll

With 27 wins and only two losses, the Gonzaga Bulldogs on Monday moved up to No. 1 in the Associated Press Top 25 college basketball poll.

Both Gonzaga and No. 2 Virginia climbed one spot after previously top-ranked Duke lost at home last Wednesday to North Carolina.

Gonzaga, from the West Coast Conference, has built the nation’s longest winning streak at 18 games.

All of the victories in the streak have come by double-figure scoring margins.

Deep and talented, the Bulldogs beat Pepperdine by 28 points and BYU by 34 at home last week.

Their streak notwithstanding, the Bulldogs haven’t been tested by many of the NCAA powerhouses this season, which will bring their ranking into question in some quarters.

They won against Duke but lost back-to-back games against Tennessee and North Carolina in non-conference.

Since then, they have stormed to a 14-0 record in the WCC and have boosted their nation-leading scoring average to 90.7 points per game.

Virginia, by contrast, plays at a much slower pace and leads the nation defensively by holding opponents to 54.5 points.

After a 64-52 victory at Louisville, the Cavaliers improved to 8-2 against ranked opponents.

Virginia, third-ranked Duke and No. 5 North Carolina are all tied for first place in the ACC standings.

Despite the loss to the Tar Heels, the Blue Devils dropped only two spots to third in the poll on the heels of their 75-65 road victory Saturday at Syracuse.

Led by RJ Barrett and his 30 points and seven assists, Duke registered the win in its first game without injured star Zion Williamson.

Williamson, the projected No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft, was hurt in the first minute against the Tar Heels.

The American Athletic Conference-leading Houston Cougars, 26-1 on the season after a 71-59 home victory over South Florida, moved up one spot in the poll to eighth.

The Cougars have won 11 in a row, and they lead the nation in field goal percentage defense (36.2). The Cougars are fifth in points allowed (60.3).

AP Top 25
1. Gonzaga 27-2 West Coast
2. Virginia 24-2 ACC
3. Duke 24-3 ACC
4. Kentucky 23-4 SEC
5. North Carolina 22-5 ACC
6. Michigan State 23-5 Big Ten
7. Tennessee 24-3 SEC
8. Houston 26-1 American
9. Michigan 24-4 Big Ten
10. Marquette 23-4 Big East
11. Texas Tech 22-5 Big 12
12. Nevada 25-2 Mountain West
13. LSU 22-5 SEC
14. Purdue 22-7 Big Ten
15. Kansas 20-7 Big 12
16. Kansas State 21-6 Big 12
17. Maryland 21-7 ACC
18. Florida State 21-6 ACC
19. Wisconsin 19-8
20. Virginia Tech 21-6
21. Buffalo 24-3
22. Iowa 21-6
23. Cincinnati 23-4
24. Wofford 24-4
25. Washington 22-5