NCSUCelebration
Duke fell in the rankings after a loss to N.C. State.

Thoughts on the AP poll: Duke falls to No. 7, Virginia takes advantage of chaos



In the most chaotic week in college basketball thus far, the AP poll saw big changes after both of its former top-two teams, Michigan State and Duke, fell to unranked opponents. 

Duke falls to No. 7 after second ACC road loss

The Blue Devils still have yet to win a road game in conference play in two tries after another upset loss to the hands of N.C. State and fell to No. 7. Although it has struggled all year defensively, Duke hit rock bottom on Saturday, struggling to defend the paint—which had been its strength—against an undersized Wolfpack team. 

The Blue Devils have yet to allow fewer than 89 points in ACC play thus far, and will have get it together on defense quickly—they travel to No. 18 Miami Jan. 15. The Hurricanes have two bad losses to New Mexico State and Georgia Tech, but haven't lost any other games and are fresh off a win against then-No. 24 Florida State. The Seminoles avoided falling out of the poll with a win against then-No. 12 North Carolina Wednesday. 

Villanova, Virginia take advantage of chaos 

After falling from the No. 1 ranking after a Dec. 30 loss to Butler, ex-No. 3 Villanova has found itself on top at No. 1 again after four of the top five teams fell this week. Like Duke, the Wildcats have struggled in their last three games on defense, giving up at least 85 in each of them, but are the third-most efficient team in the land on offense, according to basketball statistician Ken Pomeroy. 

With all of the chaos above it, ex-No. 8 Virginia skyrocketed to No. 3 after making easy work of Virginia Tech and North Carolina, allowing just a combined 101 points in those two games. According to Pomeroy's calculations, the Cavaliers are the nation's best defensive team. West Virginia moved to the No. 2 slot after beating Trae Young and No. 9 Oklahoma. 

North Carolina, Arizona State tank after two straight losses 

After being early darlings with a surprising 12-0 start, the Sun Devils have fallen just as hard as they emerged on the national scene. With two straight losses to open the Pac-12 season and a tight win against unranked Utah Sunday, Arizona State fell to No. 11 after entering the week at No. 4 in the nation. In those two losses, the Sun Devils' defense fell apart, giving up an average of 87 points per game. 

North Carolina put up a good fight against Florida State in a 81-80 road loss, but fell 61-49 to Virginia on Saturday, dropping them to No. 20. The Tar Heels now have four losses. 

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COMPLETE RANKINGS: 

1. Villanova

2. West Virginia

3.  Virginia

4.  Michigan State

T-5.  Wichita State 

T-5.  Purdue

7. Duke 

8. Texas Tech

9.  Oklahoma

10. Xavier

11.  Arizona State

12. Kansas

13. Seton Hall

14. Cincinnati 

15.  Gonzaga

16. TCU

17. Arizona

18.  Miami

19. Clemson

20. North Carolina

21.  Kentucky

22. Auburn

23. Florida State

24. Tennessee

25. Creighton


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