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Thoughts on the AP poll: Duke men's basketball falls to No. 3

Duke has not lost a game since its stunning upset defeat at the hands of Stephen F. Austin
Duke has not lost a game since its stunning upset defeat at the hands of Stephen F. Austin

Duke has started to hit its stride in ACC play, disassembling two respectable programs in the last week. The Blue Zone will be here every Monday at noon until March giving you the biggest takeaways from each poll:

Duke drops behind Baylor

The Blue Devils extended their win streak to nine with two wins against Georgia Tech and Wake Forest, but their wins were overshadowed by a dominant week from Baylor, leading to a slight drop in the poll in favor of the Bears.

Despite fumbling an 11-point halftime lead at Georgia Tech which led to a close finish, Duke remained undefeated in the ACC this past week. Gonzaga continued to trounce its weak West Coast Conference opponents, however, and still has a firm grip on the No. 1 spot, with Baylor jumping ahead of the Blue Devils as well. It will be vital for Duke to take down No. 11 Louisville this week if it wants to move back into those top two spots.

Baylor gets a bump

Baylor has either improved its ranking or stayed put every week since early November, and this week was no different. With a strong 67-55 win over then-No. 3 Kansas, the Bears deservedly overtook the Jayhawks in the poll, moving past Duke as well all the way to No. 2. The now proven top-5 team has already overcome its toughest competition, so for the foreseeable future it will just have to maintain and avoid upsets at the hands of lesser-skilled Big 12 teams.

Big Ten goes belly-up

What started out as a dominant year for the Big Ten has swiftly turned into a nightmare over the past few weeks. Former top-2 teams Ohio State and Michigan State dropped three of their four games last week and dropped to No. 21 and No. 15, respectively. The Big Ten has now vanished from the top ten spots of the poll and its hopes of a championship have significantly fizzled out.

Complete Rankings

1. Gonzaga

2. Baylor

3. Duke

4. Auburn

5. Butler

6. Kansas

7. San Diego State

8. Oregon

9. Florida State

10. Kentucky

11. Louisville

12. West Virginia

13. Dayton

14. Villanova

15. Michigan State

16. Wichita State

17. Maryland

18. Seton Hall

19. Michigan

20. Colorado

21. Ohio State

22. Memphis

23. Texas Tech

24. Illinois

25. Creighton