SPOKANE, Wash – It was an announcement a long time in the making: the Gonzaga men's basketball team was named #1 in the nation, according to the AP poll released Monday morning.
It's one of those days in local sports history in which Zags will forever remember where they were when they learned the news.
"I kept refreshing my phone to get the rankings," said Brittany Miller, a senior and Social Club rep for the Kennel Board.
"I was hitting refresh every 5 seconds on my computer," added Sarah Clifford, a Gonzaga alumnus.
"This morning when I woke up and it was official, everybody was blowing it up," said junior Dolan Patterson.
In a front window of the Crosby Student Center, a big #1 sign replaced the #2 sign we saw last week.
"We have tests and projects and presentations to work on, but I think this is more important," senior Alli Slamkowski told KHQ, as she lead fellow nursing students in a dance party showing their team spirit.
What better way to celebrate sweet victory than with a cake?
"It started on Friday after we beat BYU, me and a couple other managers were sitting around and I said, ‘We have to do something if we're number one on Monday,'" Clifford added, who is also the marketing manager of Zag Dining By Sodexho. "Sure enough, the rankings came out, we pulled the cake out and started decorating."
Baking began Sunday by a very confident team; the final product measured 21 feet long, took 14 sheet cakes, and 20 pounds of frosting. Assembled in the coveted shape of a #1, it read, "Congratulations Zags," and it wasn't long before students were taking pieces of it.
"It's been nothing but festivities," said junior Peter Blei. "It's crazy, we came out here and saw the cake, everyone's out, the sun is shining, it's awesome."
The party in the center of campus quickly spread, both indoors and out. Now, the party is heading to Vegas for the WCC Tournament.
"I'm excited to go with hundreds of my best friends honestly, and I think Gonzaga's going to be taking over Vegas for sure," Miller added. "We definitely sold out of the 400 tickets they're allotted for the final game, but we already have about 475 Vegas packs bought, and we had to cut it off because they were basically sold out."
While some of those overlap, Miller and the Kennel Club are guessing there will be at least 600 Zags fans supporting their newly minted #1 team in Las Vegas.
"Good luck, and we're all rooting for you," added freshman Kevin Olivier.