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' 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.
The Zags have never been ranked higher than their current No. 2 position. But because of their lightly regarded conference schedule, there is a chance a lower team could leapfrog them in the poll. Gonzaga's only other loss was at home to Illinois in December.