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Thoughts on the AP Poll: Duke falls to No. 4, Arizona State jumps to No. 5 after beating Kansas

The Eagles stole a win from then-No. 1 Duke, sending the Blue Devils down in the rankings.
The Eagles stole a win from then-No. 1 Duke, sending the Blue Devils down in the rankings.

Duke wasn’t the only team to be upset this week. Half of the top-10 lost, including Kansas, Florida, Texas A&M and Notre Dame, leading to big shakeups in the AP poll:

Duke falls from number one

After receiving all 65 first place votes a week ago, the Blue Devils fell to No. 4 after losing to Boston College 89-84 in Chestnut Hill on Saturday. Villanova jumped past Michigan State to take the top spot in the poll. Duke went cold from beyond the arc, shooting 8-for-30 while Boston College shot a scorching 15-for-26 from deep behind Ky Bowman's 30 points. After scoring 10 points in the first 12 minutes, Marvin Bagley III disappeared from the offense, scoring only five points the rest of the game and taking just one shot inside the arc. One bright spot for Duke over the past two games has been Gary Trent Jr., who made six of Duke’s eight three pointers and scored 25 points against the Eagles. 

Florida loses to two unranked teams and tanks to No. 22

When hot from beyond the arc, Florida can play with anyone, as the Blue Devils learned in the PK80 Championship game. But when they get cold, they are vulnerable to upsets. Florida’s bad week started with a 83-66 loss to in-state rival Florida State in which it shot only 24 percent from three. The Gators couldn’t keep up with a Florida State team that caused 17 turnovers and outrebounded them by 17. Their next game, against Loyola-Chicago, was supposed to be a bounce-back game. But Florida was upset again, this time 65-59. No Gator scored more than 10 points and they shot an ugly 10.5 percent from beyond the arc. Despite, Florida did pick up one win this week against now-No. 25 Cincinnati—a win that likely kept them from falling out of the AP poll altogether. 

Kansas shocked at home by two Pac-12 teams, tumbles to No. 13

Allen Fieldhouse is one of toughest places to play in college basketball, but Kansas looked to have no home court advantage this week. The now-No. 13 Jayhawks’ bad week started with stunning 74-65 loss to unranked Washington, a game that wasn’t even that close down the stretch. The Huskies kept a 10-point lead into the final five minutes, and Kansas didn’t get closer than that. Before this week, as the No. 2 team in the country, Kansas looked to be one of the biggest threats to the Blue Devils, outscoring opponents by an NCCA-best 30.6 points per game. Their week ended with a loss to Arizona State, a dangerous team that pulled away from the Jayhawks midway through the through the second half to steal a 95-85 win on the road.  

Bobby Hurley and Arizona State into the top-five, still undefeated

Bobby Hurley’s Arizona State Sun Devils have been arguably the most surprising team in college basketball this season. The former Duke star’s team has exceed all expectations and beaten teams comfortably, including a 16-point win against then-No. 16 Xavier in which it dropped 102 points. Hurley collected another resume-building win against then-No. 2 Kansas on Sunday. Tre Holder played hero for Arizona State, scoring 29 points and registering 7 assists to spark a second half comeback. Going into conference play, Arizona State looks to be the favorite in the Pac-12 and a fixture in future AP polls.

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COMPLETE RANKINGS: 

1. Villanova

2. Michigan State

3. Wichita State

4. Duke

5. Arizona State

6. Miami

7. North Carolina

8. Kentucky

9. Texas A&M

10. Xavier

11. West Virginia

12. Gonzaga

13. Kansas

14. TCU

15. Seton Hall

16. Virginia

17. Purdue

18. Notre Dame

19. Florida State

20. Tennessee

21.  Baylor

22. Florida

23. Arizona

24. Texas Tech

25.  Cincinnati 

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