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Thoughts on the AP Poll: Week 14

With the NFL season complete, the attention of the sports world shifts to the hardwood where upsets have become the norm:  

Blue Devils record a pair of victories but remain out of poll

Although Duke defeated Georgia Tech by nine on the road and quelled a second-half N.C. State comeback attempt to take care of the Wolfpack 88-80, the Blue Devils did not crack this week's poll. In each matchup, guard Grayson Allen showed off his ability to score with 27 points on 7-of-10 shooting from three against the Yellow Jackets and 28 points—including a perfect 12-of-12 from the charity stripe—Saturday against the Wolfpack.

But Duke will certainly have its chance to make noise on the national stage in the coming weeks as the Blue Devils host No. 13 Louisville and No. 7 Virginia this week before hitting the road to take on No. 9 North Carolina and face the Cardinals once again. 

Top spot goes to Villanova for the first time ever after top 2 teams fall Saturday

At times, Oklahoma has appeared to be the best team in the country with its ability to ignite from deep. At times, North Carolina has appeared capable of cutting down the nets come March behind a talented front line. But both teams could not avoid college basketball's spreading upset bug.   

Senior Buddy Hield and company jumped out to a quick 9-0 start for the Sooners but allowed a struggling Kansas State squad to come back and eventually pull of a comfortable 80-69 victory. Held scored 23 points, but his supporting cast was not up to par in front of a hostile environment. The Sooners’ two losses prior to this week—an instant classic, triple-overtime bout with then-No. 1 Kansas in December and a five-point defeat at the hands of then-No. 19 Iowa State—were both closely contested and helped the team fall only two spots to No. 3. 

North Carolina had an even tougher going, as Roy Williams' squad fell twice on the road this week, first 71-65 at Louisville and then 80-76 at Notre Dame. The Tar Heels were done in by poor defensive showings in both games and slipped to No. 9.  

With the losses, Villanova climbed to the top of the poll. The Wildcats will look to make it through the week unscathed with games against DePaul and St. John's.

Texas A&M tumbles, leaving SEC up for grabs 

The Aggies entered the week ranked in the top five of the country and atop the SEC, but fell off their perch after falling twice this week, giving them three losses in their past four games. Texas A&M struggled for much of the game in a 16-point road loss to Vanderbilt, followed by a deflating home defeat against South Carolina. Things were just a bit better for conference opponent Kentucky, who rebounded from an upset loss against unranked Tennessee with a win against Florida. After another crazy week of college basketball, just two SEC teams are ranked this week—the Aggies at No. 15 and the Wildcats at No. 22

Louisville makes a leap despite postseason ban

Louisville will have to cope with the fact that its season will end March 5, but the Cardinals continue to impress in the meantime. Head coach Rick Pitino's team defeated then-No. 2 North Carolina Monday to rebound from a lopsided loss at the hands of Virginia. On Saturday, Louisville dismantled Boston College by 32 points to reach a tie atop the ACC with the Tar Heels. The Cardinals moved up six spots to No. 13 ahead of their first trip to Cameron Indoor Stadium as an ACC opponent for Monday's game against Duke.


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