SPOKANE, Wash. — Elias Harris had 20 points and nine rebounds as No. 2 Gonzaga beat Portland 81-52 on Saturday to stake a claim to its first-ever No. 1 ranking in The Associated Press’ men’s college basketball Top 25.
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.
Gonzaga, winner of 12 consecutive games since a last-second loss at Butler, has escaped the losses that have afflicted other teams at or near the top of the poll in recent weeks. That included a loss by top-ranked Indiana to Minnesota earlier this week that opened the door for the Bulldogs.
Derrick Rodgers scored 10 points for Portland (11-20, 4-12), which has lost 18 straight to Gonzaga dating to 2003.
NO. 3 DUKE 79, No. 5 MIAMI 76: In Durham, N.C., Duke’s Ryan Kelly scored a career-high 36 points in his return from a foot injury that had sidelined him since January.
Kelly was 10-of-14 from the field — including 7-of-9 from 3-point range— for the Blue Devils (25-4, 12-4 Atlantic Coast Conference).
Quinn Cook added 15 points as Duke built a 10-point lead with about two minutes left then held off a frantic rally by Miami.
Shane Larkin scored 25 points to lead the Hurricanes (23-5, 14-2), who missed two 3-pointers in the final seconds to tie it. Larkin came up short on the first over Kelly. Durand Scott ran down the rebound and fired a pass to the left corner to Rion Brown, whose final 3 clanged off the rim as the horn sounded.
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 for the Jayhawks.
McLemore, a 6-foot-5 redshirt freshman, went to the bench with a little more than five minutes left after hitting 12 of 15 shots from the field, including 5-of-6 from beyond the 3-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 for the Jayhawks (25-4, 13-3 Big 12).
Terry Henderson had 20 points for the Mountaineers (13-16, 6-10).
No. 10 Louisville 58, No. 12 Syracuse 53: In Syracuse, N.Y., Luke Hancock hit a 3-pointer from the corner to break a tie with 50 seconds left for Louisville.
It was the third straight loss for Syracuse (22-7, 10-6 Big East).
Louisville (24-5, 12-4) snapped a three-game losing streak against Syracuse.
NO. 14 NEW MEXICO 53, WYOMING 42: In Albuquerque, N.M., Alex Kirk had 15 points and nine rebounds and New Mexico clinched the Mountain West Conference regular season title.
The Lobos (25-4, 12-2 MWC) went 21-for-27 from the free-throw line in winning or sharing the title for fifth time in the last six seasons. Cameron Bairstow contributed 13 points and nine rebounds and Kendall Williams had six assists for the Lobos.
Riley Grabau scored 14 points for the Cowboys (18-11, 4-11).
No. 15 Oklahoma State 78, Texas 65: In Stillwater, Okla., Markel Brown scored 18 points, Le’Bryan Nash added 16 for Oklahoma State.
A showcase of two of the Big 12’s marquee point guards ended up being a sloppy one, with Myck Kabongo committing a career-high seven turnovers while the Cowboys’ Marcus Smart had five.
Oklahoma State (22-6, 12-4 Big 12) took advantage of two of Kabongo’s turnovers to score the final eight points of the first half and start an 18-2 run that carried beyond halftime. By the time it was over, the Cowboys were firmly in front at 47-33 after Nash drove through traffic for a right-handed slam.
The Longhorns (13-16, 5-11) tried to deploy their full-court press, but couldn’t duplicate a 22-point comeback from their last game.
No. 18 Saint Louis 66, George Washington 58: In Washington, Dwayne Evans scored 22 points and Kwamain Mitchell added 18 for Saint Louis.
With two games remaining in the regular season, Saint Louis (23-5, 12-2 Atlantic 10) holds a one-game lead over Virginia Commonwealth (23-6, 11-3), which routed No. 20 Butler 84-52 on Saturday.
Reigning Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week Kevin Larsen led George Washington (12-15, 6-8) with 14 points.
No. 19 Memphis 76, Central Florida 67: In Orlando, Fla., Joe Jackson and Chris Crawford both scored 19 points and Memphis claimed its eighth Conference USA championship.
Adonis Thomas added 12 points for the Tigers (25-4, 14-0 C-USA), who gave coach Josh Pastner his 100th career win, all at Memphis.
Keith Clanton had 29 points and six rebounds for UCF (19-10, 8-6). Kasey Wilson added 11 points and Isaiah Sykes had 10 points, nine rebounds and five assists.
VCU 84, No. 20 Butler 52: In Richmond, Va., Troy Daniels scored 14 of his 20 points in the first half, and VCU’s full-court pressure overwhelmed Butler.
The Rams (23-6, 11-3 Atlantic 10) dominated, forcing 14 turnovers in the first half and converted them into 24 points on their way to a 45-21 lead.
Butler (22-7, 9-5) scored the first seven points after halftime to close within 17, but Briante Weber and Treveon Graham each scored five points in a 10-4 run to put VCU back in control.
Roosevelt Jones scored 14 points and Khyle Marshall had 13 for Butler.
No. 22 Marquette 72, No. 21 Notre Dame 64: In Milwaukee, Jamil Wilson tied his career-high with 19 points and Chris Otule added a season-high 16 to help Marquette to its 25th consecutive home win.
Wilson scored 17 points in the second half, including seven down the stretch, for the Golden Eagles (21-7, 12-4 Big East). His two free throws were the final points in the game.
Jerian Grant scored 21 points and Eric Atkins added 16 for Notre Dame (22-7, 10-6).
The Golden Eagles’ home streak is the second-longest active streak in the nation, behind South Dakota State’s 30-game run.
The Irish rallied from a 16-point deficit in the first half while the Golden Eagles went five minutes without a field goal. Zach Auguste’s dunk pulled Notre Dame within 59-51 with 4:36 left.
Wilson’s three-point play kept the Irish from getting any closer.