SPOKANE — Gonzaga hasn’t had to come back very often on the basketball court this season, but it has completed a two-month rally in the AP poll.
The Zags returned to the top spot in the media poll Monday, collecting 44 first-place votes.
Duke, which lost at home to North Carolina last Wednesday, dropped two spots to No. 3.
It’s the second time this season Gonzaga has replaced Duke at No. 1.
“It means a job well done by these guys for three, four months,” coach Mark Few said.
Virginia had two wins over ranked opponents and moved past the Blue Devils into the second spot, despite two head-to-head losses to Duke.
The Cavaliers had 15 first-place votes while Duke had three.
Gonzaga (27-2) was No. 1 in December for two weeks, but slipped to eighth after consecutive losses to Tennessee and North Carolina.
The Zags have responded by winning 18 straight games, the longest active streak in the nation.
The closest margin of victory in that stretch has been 13-point road wins against San Francisco and Loyola Marymount.
Kentucky, with two-first place votes, in No. 4 and North Carolina climbed three spots to No. 5.
Gonzaga also returned to No. 1 in the NCAA’s NET rankings after being No. 2 last Monday behind Duke.
Virginia is second, followed by Duke.
The Zags visit Pacific on Thursday and Saint Mary’s on Saturday to close the regular season.