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Thoughts on the AP Poll: Duke men's basketball rises to No. 2 as Tennessee’s upset of Gonzaga shakes things up at the top

<p>Duke easily took care of Hartford and Yale last week.</p>

Duke easily took care of Hartford and Yale last week.

With conference play rapidly approaching, things are starting to shape up across college basketball, as seen in the latest AP poll: 

Duke leapfrogs Gonzaga

After Tennessee was able to pull off a victory over Gonzaga that Duke could not just under three weeks ago, the Blue Devils were able to rise a spot to No. 2. Last week, Duke easily handled two non-conference opponents in Hartford and Yale, and it has won each of its last three games by at least 30 points and remains the No. 1 team in the country according to the KenPom.com rankings. The Blue Devils will next face Princeton Dec. 18 before taking on No. 11 Texas Tech Dec. 20 at Madison Square Garden.

Tennessee jumps to No. 3, Zags lose top spot

After retaining the top spot in the poll for the second consecutive week last Monday, Gonzaga had a rough seven days, needing a Rui Hachimura buzzer-beater to scrape past unranked Washington before losing its unbeaten record to Tennessee. The upset dropped the Bulldogs to fourth, while the Volunteers—whose sole loss on the year came at the hands of newly crowned No. 1 Kansas Nov. 23—shot up to No. 3. Gonzaga now prepares to play at No. 12 North Carolina this Saturday, whereas Tennessee doesn’t have another currently ranked team on its schedule until Feb. 16 at No. 19 Kentucky.

Kentucky drops to 19th after loss to unranked Seton Hall

From the second the ball was tipped in the season-opening Champions Classic against Duke, Kentucky has not looked like the team many were expecting the Wildcats to be this season. Head coach John Calipari and company were able to string together seven consecutive wins even after that blowout loss to the Blue Devils, but their luck could only last so long, as an overtime defeat to Seton Hall at Madison Square Garden pushes Kentucky out of the top ten. While Duke fans may enjoy the suffering of their counterparts from Lexington, Ky., there is no doubt the Wildcats’ struggles make that opening victory a little less sweet.

Complete Rankings:

  1. Kansas
  2. Duke
  3. Tennessee
  4. Gonzaga
  5. Michigan
  6. Virginia
  7. Nevada
  8. Auburn
  9. Michigan State
  10. Florida State
  11. Texas Tech
  12. North Carolina
  13. Virginia Tech
  14. Buffalo
  15. Ohio State
  16. Wisconsin
  17. Villanova
  18. Mississippi State
  19. Kentucky
  20. Arizona State
  21. Marquette
  22. Iowa
  23. Furman
  24. Houston
  25. Syracuse

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