AP college basketball poll released for Week 18 – March 4, 2013

Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Kelly Olynyk leads a chant before a game against the Portland Pilots at the McCarthey Athletic Center. (James Snook-USA TODAY Sports)

Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Kelly Olynyk leads a chant before a game against the Portland Pilots at the McCarthey Athletic Center. (James Snook-USA TODAY Sports)

The AP top 25 college basketball rankings for Week 18 have been released.

Following unexpected losses by several of the nation’s top teams, an unexpected contender has reached the top of the mountain. For the very first time in school history, the Gonzaga Bulldogs have taken hold of the nation’s top spot as March Madness approaches.

Indiana was upset in a big way in The Barn at Minnesota, but recovered to beat-down Iowa on Saturday to lay claim to the No. 2-overall ranking.

No. 3 Duke, thanks to the return of star senior Ryan Kelly, took care of business in a big way in a thrilling home-win over Miami. They are followed by Kansas at No. 4 and the red-hot Georgetown Hoyas, winners of 11-straight, at No. 5.

Wisconsin slipped from No. 17 down to No. 22 after falling flat to Purdue at home on Senior Day. Butler beat Indiana early in the year, but fell out of the rankings altogether after being blown away by VCU in a rematch of their 2011 Final Four clash. For their efforts, VCU returned to the top 25, at No. 21.

Following is the complete top 25 (via ESPN):

RK TEAM RECORD PTS
1 Gonzaga (51) 29-2 1,607
2 Indiana (7) 25-4 1,517
3 Duke (5) 25-4 1,471
4 Kansas 25-4 1,433
5 Georgetown (2) 23-4 1,384
6 Miami (FL) 23-5 1,245
7 Michigan 24-5 1,240
8 Louisville 24-5 1,217
9 Kansas State 24-5 1,040
10 Michigan State 22-7 1,006
11 Florida 23-5 993
12 New Mexico 25-4 950
13 Oklahoma State 22-6 833
14 Ohio State 21-7 763
15 Marquette 21-7 687
16 Saint Louis 23-5 675
17 Syracuse 22-7 589
18 Arizona 23-6 394
19 Oregon 23-6 332
20 Pittsburgh 23-7 326
21 Virginia Commonwealth 23-6 277
22 Wisconsin 20-9 217
23 UCLA 22-7 196
24 Notre Dame 22-7 164
25 Memphis 25-4 149
  • Others receiving votes: North Carolina 109, Louisiana Tech 103, Saint Mary’s 47, UNLV 43, California 33, Butler 26, Illinois 25, Minnesota 10, Creighton 7, Middle Tennessee 5, Akron 4, Missouri 4, Belmont 3, Colorado State 1
  • Dropped from rankings: Butler 20, Louisiana Tech 25