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Thoughts on the AP poll: Duke men's basketball jumps to No. 6

Duke's win against Florida State could prove to be a turning point this season
Duke's win against Florida State could prove to be a turning point this season

Duke continued its dominant February this past week, while its fellow powerhouses atop the ACC struggled to keep up. The Blue Zone will be here every Monday at noon until March giving you the biggest takeaways from each poll:

A week for the ages

After a torrid week that included a home win against No. 8 Florida State and a 34-point win against Notre Dame, the Blue Devils jumped one spot in this week's AP poll to No. 6. It's the team's highest ranking since it dropped five spots to No. 8 exactly one month ago.

While many believed a loss at North Carolina would've all but eliminated any chance Duke had at a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament, the Blue Devils are now at the cusp of a No. 1 seed yet again. A few more quality wins and the Blue Devils could very well move into that top four soon. What a difference a week can make.

If Duke did secure a No. 1 seed, it would be the first time since 2010 and 2011 that head coach Mike Krzyzewski secured a top seed in back-to-back seasons. Uncoincidentally, 2010 was the last time the Blue Devils finished with at least a share of the ACC regular season title. And with the way Duke's peers have been playing recently, that drought might end sooner rather than later.

Louisville suffers brutal losses

While Duke was riding high this past week, Louisville was struggling, like really struggling. The Cardinals lost both of their games last week: two unranked losses to Georgia Tech and Clemson, respectively. 

In Louisville’s defense, the Tigers did beat the Blue Devils just last month, while the Yellow Jackets nearly pulled off the upset against Duke as well. Still, two consecutive losses to unranked opponents is never a good sign for a team hoping to win the ACC and make a deep tournament run.

With the two defeats, Louisville dropped five spots to No. 11 in the latest AP poll. It's the team's lowest AP ranking since Jan. 17. Furthermore, the losses dropped the Cardinals behind the Blue Devils in the ACC standings, despite Louisville having the head-to-head tiebreaker.

Undefeated watch, continued

Yes, I just mentioned San Diego State's undefeated season last week. But some new developments have  occurred that have turned the possibility of a perfect regular season campaign into a likely reality.

I mentioned seven days ago that the biggest obstacle between the Aztecs and perfection was a trip to Boise State. Well not only did San Diego State win out in Boise, Idaho, they won by 17. With the victory, the Aztecs moved to 26-0 with three games left on its regular season slate.

Again, only three teams since 1980 have entered the NCAA tournament undefeated, and no team has pulled off an undefeated NCAA championship since Bob Knight's Indiana Hoosiers in 1976. The closest we've gotten to the conclusion of that drought was 2015, when Kentucky was undefeated all the way up to the Final Four. We all know who won the NCAA title that year.

San Diego State remained at No. 4 in this week's AP poll.

Complete Rankings:

1. Baylor

2. Gonzaga

3. Kansas

4. San Diego State

5. Dayton

6. Duke

7. Maryland

8. Florida State

9. Penn State

10. Kentucky

11. Louisville

12. Villanova

13. Auburn

14. Oregon 

15. Creighton

16. Seton Hall

17. West Virginia

18. Colorado

19. Marquette

20. Iowa

21. Butler

22. Houston

23. BYU

24. Arizona

25. Ohio State

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