The independent news organization of Duke University

Thoughts on the AP poll: Duke men's basketball finishes at No. 11

The season marks just the 11th time that head coach Mike Krzyzewski has finished outside the top-10 of the final AP poll during his 40 years with Duke.
The season marks just the 11th time that head coach Mike Krzyzewski has finished outside the top-10 of the final AP poll during his 40 years with Duke.

While most conference tournaments as well as the NCAA tournament did not continue as planned, the Associated Press went on and released its last top-25 rankings anyway. The Blue Zone is here to break down the final poll of the season:

Duke drops a spot without playing

After placing at No. 10 in last Monday's poll, the Blue Devils somehow fell to No. 11 without taking the court. While this difference in ranking may seem arbitrary, this season now marks the first time Duke has finished outside of the top-10 in the final AP poll since 2015-16, and just the second time since 2007-08. 

Villanova, which ranked No. 11 last week, simply switched spots with the Blue Devils in this week's rankings. The only problem is that the Wildcats also did not play over the last week, so it's quite confusing as to what reasoning the voters had to make this switch. 

To make matters worse, the Blue Devils finished 3-0 against teams ranked above them. I guess some people probably weren't happy about Duke's influence in the cancellation of the NCAA tournament.

Michigan State finishes at No. 9

The Spartans have had a crazy season. After entering the 2019-20 campaign as the No. 1 team in the country and the national title favorite, they lost three of their first eight games and fell all the way to No. 16 by mid-December. But that wasn't even close to the worst of it.

After three consecutive conference losses in early February, Michigan State fell out of the top-25 entirely, staying unranked for two full weeks. The team soon recovered, however, with four straight ranked wins to end the regular season catapulting the Spartans back into the top-10.

One interesting note is that Michigan State finishes two spots ahead of Duke despite boasting three more losses, albeit in a tougher conference, and losing to the Blue Devils 87-75 on its home floor.

Stephen F. Austin places just outside the rankings

If you followed Duke this season, the name Stephen F. Austin probably sounds familiar. Back in November, the Lumberjacks defeated the Blue Devils 85-83 in Cameron Indoor Stadium, breaking Duke's 150-game nonconference home winning streak.

Since that stunning upset, Stephen F. Austin has lost just two games, finishing 28-3 overall and 19-1 in the Southland Conference. The Lumberjacks entered their conference tournament as the No. 1 seed, with a fifth NCAA tournament appearance in seven years looking very likely. Both of those tournaments were eventually cancelled.

Nevertheless, the AP voters still rewarded Stephen F. Austin with 78 votes, the most out of all unranked teams. That number sits just 21 votes behind 25th-ranked Iowa.

Complete Rankings:

1. Kansas

2. Gonzaga

3. Dayton

4. Florida State

5. Baylor

6. San Diego State

7. Creighton

8. Kentucky

9. Michigan State

10. Villanova

11. Duke

12. Maryland

13. Oregon

14. Louisville

15. Seton Hall

16. Virginia

17. Wisconsin

18. BYU

19. Ohio State

20. Auburn

21. Illinois

22. Houston

23. Butler

24. West Virginia

25. Iowa

Comments