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Gonzaga's Elias Harris (20) goes up for the dunk against Portland in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Saturday, March 2, 2013, in Spokane, Wash.
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
SPOKANE, Wash. — The to-do list for the Gonzaga basketball team got shorter Monday: For the first time, the Zags were ranked No. 1 in The Associated Press Top 25 poll.
Next: Avoiding the potholes that have stopped every other No. 1 this season, then finding a way to the Final Four.
“It’s an honor that people would think this highly of all of us in the program,” coach Mark Few said in a prepared statement Monday afternoon. “It’s great for the program, great for the school, great for the city of Spokane and the region and the entire Northwest.
“We still have a lot more to accomplish starting this weekend in Las Vegas and moving forward to the NCAA tournament,” said Few, who reportedly went fishing on Monday. “We’re looking forward to the rest of the season and making it last as long as we can.”
Students celebrated the No. 1 ranking on the downtown campus Monday, and the food services department wheeled out a 20-foot cake that said “Congratulations Zags.”
Staying No. 1 has been tough this season, with Gonzaga the fifth school to hold the spot after replacing Indiana this week. The others were Duke, Louisville and Michigan.
“We don’t believe there is any jinx,” assistant coach Tommy Lloyd said earlier Monday. “Obviously, it’s a dream for us, the ultimate accomplishment.”
Gonzaga, a small Jesuit school in Spokane, has the best record in Division I at 29-2 following weekend wins against BYU and Portland. The Hoosiers, beaten by Minnesota last week, dropped to No. 2.
Gonzaga received 51 first-place votes from the 65-member national media panel, 44 more than Indiana. Duke, winners over Miami after a loss to Virginia, remained third.
Kansas and Georgetown both jumped two spots to fourth and fifth. Miami, Michigan, Louisville, Kansas State and Michigan State rounded out the top 10. Virginia Commonwealth and UCLA, both ranked earlier in the season, returned to the poll at 21st and 23rd, respectively.
No. Kansas 79, Texas Tech 42
LAWRENCE, Kan. — Jeff Withey scored 22 points to lead No. 4 Kansas past Texas Tech.
Kevin Young had 14 points and Ben McLemore and Travis Releford added 13 apiece as the Jayhawks (26-4, 14-3 Big 12), who took a half-game lead over No. 9 Kansas State in the conference title race.
Jordan Tolbert had 16 points for Texas Tech (10-18, 3-14).
No. 8 Louisville 67, Cincinnati 51
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Russ Smith scored 18 points and Louisville gave Rick Pitino his 300th victory with the Cardinals. Pitino earned his 650th career win earlier this season.
The Cardinals (25-5, 13-4 Big East) forced Cincinnati (20-10, 8-9) into 21 turnovers.
Cashmere Wright scored 15 points for the Bearcats.
No. 2 Notre Dame 96, No. 3 UConn 87, 3 OTs
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Skylar Diggins scored 29 points and sparked a decisive run in the third overtime as No. 2 Notre Dame (28-1, 16-0) beat third-ranked Connecticut to win the Big East regular-season title.
Diggins added 11 rebounds. Kayla McBride added 26 points.
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis led UConn (27-3, 14-2) with 26 points and Kelly Faris added 21.
Franklin named All-ACC
Virginia junior guard Ataira Franklin (14.2 ppg) was named to the All-ACC first team by a panel of media members, coaches and sports information directors.
The ACC had planned to have 10 players on the first team but wound up with 11 because of a tie. The first team included three players from Florida State, two from Duke and two from Maryland.
The ACC coaches passed out their own league honors Monday. They had 12 players on their first team because of a tie, but Franklin was not among them. She did make the coaches’ All-ACC second team.
Radford’s Ashley Buckhannon (George Wythe) made the All-Big South second team.
The senior guard leads Radford in scoring (13.3 ppg). She ranks second in the league in steals (2.8 spg) and third in assist-turnover ratio (1.22). She ranks ninth on the RU career list in assists (257), sixth in steals (215) and third in 3-pointers (156).
UNC Asheville’s Grace Blaylock (Lord Botetourt) and Radford’s Katherine Brockett made the all-academic team.
Summitt’s memoir to be released today
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Former Tennessee coach Pat Summitt details her battle with early-onset dementia, Alzheimer’s type, in her memoir “Sum It Up,” which she wrote with Sally Jenkins. The book will be released Tuesday.
Summitt won eight national titles and 1,098 games. .
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