Grayson Allen helped Duke stay at No. 1 this week with an impeccable performance against Michigan State. ...

Thoughts on the AP poll: Week 2

The Blue Devils retained the top spot in the rankings after prevailing in a tight game against Michigan State.

Allen puts Duke on his shoulders

In the 42nd matchup between No. 1 and No. 2 in college basketball history, senior Grayson Allen poured in a career-high 37 points, including two late triples to ice the game, in Duke's 88-81 win against the Spartans in Tuesday's Champions Classic in Chicago. Marvin Bagley III sat out the last 30 minutes of the contest after getting poked in the eye by teammate Javin DeLaurier, but the Blue Devils still dominated the boards with 25 offensive rebounds and slowed Michigan State down enough in a 2-3 zone defensively to come out on top. The Spartans dropped three spots to No. 4 following the loss.

Kansas outlasts Kentucky in Champions Classic nightcap

In the Champions Classic nightcap, the Jayhawks finished the game on a 10-4 run in the last three and a half minutes to beat Kentucky 65-61, with Malik Newman knocking down a critical 3-pointer to put Kansas in front by four. Freshman forward Kevin Knox—who spurned Duke for Kentucky last spring—led all scorers with 20 points, but the rest of his team shot just 15-of-42 from the field and did not make a 3-pointer in the sloppy game. The Jayhawks were also playing without five-star big man Billy Preston, who is being held out indefinitely while the school investigates how he acquired a car he proceeded to crash. Kansas moved up one slot to No. 3 in the latest poll, and Kentucky slid from No. 7 to No. 8.

UCLA struggles amid shoplifting distraction

2017 would not be complete without a spat between two of its loudest celebrities—Donald Trump and LaVar Ball—and the two have finally crossed paths in the Twitterverse after LaVar's middle son LiAngelo Ball and two of his UCLA teammates were detained for shoplifting during the team's trip to China for its season opener against Georgia Tech last weekend. The trio returned home Tuesday evening, with Trump taking credit for saving them from years in Chinese jail and demanding gratitude, which LaVar Ball refused to provide. The president did not take kindly to this rebuff.

On the court, the Bruins needed overtime to beat 27-point underdog Central Arkansas 106-101 Wednesday night and nearly lost before freshman Jaylen Hands made a free throw to tie it with 1.3 seconds left in regulation. Hands' three shoplifting classmates all remain suspended indefinitely, and UCLA dropped to a tie for No. 23 after a week of turmoil on and off the court.

Big Ten darling Northwestern gets crushed 

With most of the core returning from the program's first NCAA tournament team last spring, expectations were high in Evanston, Ill., for this Northwestern squad and head coach Chris Collins—a longtime assistant under Mike Krzyzewski at Duke and a former Blue Devil guard. Not so fast. The Wildcats began the week with a loss to Creighton in a 92-88 shootout and ended it Sunday with a stunning 85-49 defeat at the hands of Texas Tech in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off title game. Northwestern dropped from No. 19 to well out of the rankings, but the Red Raiders curiously did not enter the rankings. 

Comments powered by Disqus

Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Chronicle.