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.
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
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), who avenged a blowout road loss in January by grinding out a tough win in Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Quinn Cook added 15 points as Duke built a 10-point lead with about 2 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 3s 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. 8 FLORIDA 64,
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Casey Prather had 10 points and nine rebounds, most of them in the second half, and Florida rallied from an eight-point deficit.
The Gators used a 15-0 run late in the second half — fueled by Prather — to pull away from the Crimson Tide and remain unbeaten at home.
Erik Murphy led Florida (23-5, 13-3 Southeastern Conference) with 15 points. Kenny Boynton added 13, and Scottie Wilbekin chipped in 11.
With Prather leading the way, Florida outscored Alabama 23-5 over the final 10 minutes of the game.
Trevor Releford led the Tide (19-10, 11-5) with 12 points. Trevor Lacey and Nick Jacobs added 11 points apiece.
No. 10 LOUISVILLE 58,
No. 12 SYRACUSE 53
SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Luke Hancock hit a 3-pointer from the corner to break a tie with 50 seconds left for Louisville, which lost to Syracuse earlier this season.
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, and the Cardinals did it before a stunned crowd of 31,173.
Russ Smith led Louisville with 18 points, Hancock had 12, all on 3s, and Gorgui Dieng finished with 11 points and 14 rebounds.
C.J. Fair had 19 points to lead the Orange, James Southerland added 13 and Michael Carter-Williams 11.
No. 14 NEW MEXICO 53, WYOMING 42
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).
New Mexico closed the first half on a 13-6 run after Kendall Williams picked off a pass deep in the Wyoming end and turned it into a dunk just before the buzzer for a 25-19 lead.
No. 15 OKLAHOMA STATE 78, TEXAS 65
STILLWATER, Okla. — Markel Brown scored 18 points, Le’Bryan Nash added 16 and Oklahoma State corralled Texas star Myck Kabongo.
A showcase of two of the Big 12’s marquee point guards ended up being a sloppy one, with 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) couldn’t duplicate their comeback from a 22-point deficit in the final 8 minutes of regulation in an overtime win against Oklahoma on Wednesday night.
Julien Lewis returned after missing the last game with a concussion and led Texas with 15 points, hitting four of 11 from 3-point range. Javan Felix scored 13 points. Kabongo ended up with a season-low seven points and eight assists, missing five of seven shots.
No. 19 MEMPHIS 76, CENTRAL FLORIDA 67
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 CUSA), 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
RICHMOND, Va. — Troy Daniels scored 14 of his 20 points in the first half and VCU’s full-court pressure overwhelmed Butler from the outset.
In a much anticipated rematch of their unlikely meeting in the national semifinals in Houston in 2011, the Rams (23-6, 11-3 Atlantic 10) dominated, forcing 14 turnovers in the first half, one more than Butler’s average for a game, 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 both scored five points in a 10-4 run and it was pretty much over, allowing the Rams to clinch one of the top four seeds in the conference tournament later this month.
Roosevelt Jones scored 14 points and Khyle Marshall had 13 for Butler.
No. 22 MARQUETTE 72, No. 21 NOTRE DAME 64
MILWAUKEE — Jamil Wilson tied his career-high with 19 points and Chris Otule added a season-high 16 on 8-of-8 shooting as Marquette won its 25th consecutive home game.
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).
Jack Cooley, Notre Dame’s leading scorer, had his minutes limited due to illness. He was 0 for 1 from the field and had one rebound in 15 minutes.