DURHAM — Duke has taken its place at the top of the college basketball mountain. At least for now.
Coming off an 84-81 win over No. 1 Gonzaga on Friday night in front of a sold-out T-Mobile Arena crowd in Las Vegas, the Blue Devils took over the No. 1 ranking in Monday's Associated Press poll.
Gonzaga, which dropped to No. 3, was the AP No. 1 preseason team and last year's NCAA Tournament runner-up. The crowd of 20,389 that filled the arena set a record for the largest basketball crowd in Nevada history.
Purdue (6-0) moved from No. 3 to No. 2 in the AP rankings.
"This was a really big time game," coach Mike Krzyzewski said after Friday's win. "What a great crowd."
Paolo Banchero scored 20 of his game-high 21 points in the first half before cramping issues — the same issue that pulled him out of his Duke debut against Kentucky — forced him to the sideline in the second half.
Banchero had to leave the game to get an IV but would return with nearly eight minutes to play. He scored just one point in the second half.
Wendell Moore Jr. and Mark Williams stepped up in Banchero's sted.
Moore scored 20 points and hit two crucial free throws with 19 seconds left to play to give his team a four-point lead. Williams added 17 points, nine rebounds and five blocks. He was lauded postgame for his interior defense against Gonzaga.
“Tonight especially, we knew Chet [Holmgren] and Drew [Timme], obviously really talented players," Williams said. "Knowing that we were going to have to bring it every possession on the defensive end because they go through them, so just really being able to protect the rim, making all the right decisions defensively, talking, rotations – whatever it is.”
Duke began the season ranked No. 9 overall and jumped to No. 7 after a win over then-No.10 ranked Kentucky, Army and Campbell.
The Blue Devils jumped two more spots to No. 5 after defeating Gardner-Webb, Lafayette and The Citadel.
Duke's 145 weeks in the No. 1 spot are the most in NCAA history, leading UCLA (134) and Kentucky (125). All other ACC schools have combined for a total of 149 weeks at No. 1.
Under Krzyzewski, Duke has been ranked No. 1 at least once in 21 different seasons, the most of any coach in college basketball history. John Wooden and Roy Williams are tied for second (12).
This marks Coach K's 127th week ranked No. 1 at Duke, which also continues an NCAA record over John Wooden (121) and Adolph Rupp (61).
Duke's 283 games and 243 wins (243-40) as the No. 1 team are most in NCAA history. Under Coach K, Duke's 254 games and 219 wins (219-35) as the No. 1 team are the most by a coach all-time.
They travel to Columbus, Ohio, on Tuesday to face Ohio State before taking an extended holiday break. They'll return to Cameron Indoor Dec. 14 to take on South Carolina State.
David Thompson is an award-winning reporter for the USA Today Network covering NC State and Duke athletics. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, at 828-231-1747, or on Twitter at @daveth89.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY NETWORK: Where does Duke rank after taking down No. 1 Gonzaga?