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Thoughts on the AP poll: Duke men's basketball falls another spot

Despite a 30-point win against Miami, Duke falls another spot in the AP poll
Despite a 30-point win against Miami, Duke falls another spot in the AP poll

Duke had a mostly uneventful week, with a dominating win over Miami representing the team's only game action of the past seven days. The Blue Zone will be here every Monday at noon until March giving you the biggest takeaways from each poll:

Duke drops to No. 9

There really wasn't much to judge Duke on over the past week. While the Blue Devils dismantled Miami 89-59, those same Hurricanes then lost to lowly North Carolina 94-71 four days later. Still, it was good for head coach Mike Krzyzewski's squad to get a blowout win after going winless the week prior.

Despite the undefeated 1-0 mark for the week, a big victory for then-No. 9 Villanova gave cause for yet another drop in the poll for Duke, though this time just one spot to the Wildcats' former position. With no ranked opponents until Feb. 10 against No. 5 Florida State, the Blue Devils will have to impress if they want to reclaim a top-5 spot.

Baylor remains the top dog

After squeaking past Gonzaga last week for the top spot in the AP poll, Baylor continued its impressive 2020 by going an undefeated 2-0 over the last week. The Bears received a scare Monday at home against an unranked Oklahoma, but the Sooners missed a potential go-ahead three with eight seconds to go to, and Baylor hung on to win 61-57.

Head coach Scott Drew's squad then paid a visit to Gainesville, Fla. to take on another unranked squad in Florida. Except this time, the top-ranked team in the country went in as two-point underdogs. Nevertheless, Baylor led for nearly the entire contest, winning 72-61. The Bears have now won 16 games in a row and remain atop the Big 12, in prime position for the program's first conference championship since 1950. Despite already being 5-0 against ranked foes on the year, though, Baylor still has four more ranked matchups to go, with the next being vs. No. 12 West Virginia Feb. 14.

Villanova, Kentucky move up

It was a relatively quiet week for college basketball, with no top-10 upsets—a rarity this season—and only three ranked matchups. Two of those matchups, however, proved to be statement wins for two of the top programs in the country. The first of those victories came Tuesday, when then-No. 9 Villanova hosted then-No. 13 Butler. In what was supposed to be one of the Wildcats' toughest tests of the season, head coach Jay Wright's squad cruised past the Bulldogs 76-61. Four days later, it was Kentucky's time to shine. 

Head coach John Calipari's Wildcats have been all around the rankings this year, enjoying two top-5 wins but also suffering three unranked defeats so far this season. But against then-No. 18 Texas Tech in the Big 12/SEC challenge, Kentucky came to play. Despite a rowdy crowd in Lubbock, Texas, the visiting squad hung on for a gritty 76-74 overtime win. The Wildcats have now won four in a row, with no more ranked opponents on the rest of their schedule. Overall, Villanova and Kentucky's victories were rewarded in the AP poll, with the two teams moving up to No. 8 and No. 13, respectively.

Complete Rankings

1. Baylor

2. Gonzaga

3. Kansas

4. San Diego State

5. Florida State

6. Louisville

7. Dayton

8. Villanova

9. Duke

10. Seton Hall

11. Oregon

12. West Virginia

13. Kentucky

14. Michigan State

15. Maryland

16. Butler

17. Auburn

18. Iowa

19. Illinois

20. Colorado

21. Houston

22. LSU

23. Wichita State

24. Penn State

25. Rutgers

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