On Monday, the Associated Press released the first rankings of the 2020-21 men’s basketball season. The Blue Zone will be here every Monday at noon until March giving you the biggest takeaways from each poll:
Duke did its job on Saturday with a ten-point win over unranked Coppin State. Critics argued that the Blue Devils should’ve won in a more decisive fashion, but the committee seems to have rewarded their efforts against the Eagles. Head coach Mike Krzyzewski’s team took care of its business, and have improved their standing in the eyes of the AP due to some other top ten losses.
Villanova and Virginia take hits
Checking in at No. 3 and No. 4 respectively last week, Villanova and Virginia each lost to unranked teams in the first week of play. Virginia Tech's Nahiem Alleyne and Keve Aluma led the way over Villanova, leading the Hokies to a victory in an overtime thriller and Virginia suffered its first loss of the season to San Francisco in a 61-60 nail-biter.
As a result of this Virginia loss, the Duke Blue Devils are now the highest-ranked ACC team in the poll. Look for the Blue Devils to continue to make waves if they’re able to beat No. 8 Michigan State on Tuesday. Doing so would be a signature win for Krzyzewski’s squad in only its second contest of the season.
The Bulldogs reign supreme
No. 1 Gonzaga emerged victorious from the first top-ten matchup of the young college basketball season. Guard Jalen Suggs, along with forwards Drew Timme and Corey Kispert, notched over 20 points each against Kansas to win by a margin of 12. Head coach Mark Few’s team also had an impressive showing against Auburn, recording a 23-point victory over the Tigers. There’s a clear top dog in college basketball thus far, and they play in Spokane, Wash. They’ll face perhaps their toughest task of the season against No. 2 Baylor this weekend in Waco, Texas.
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8. Michigan State
11. West Virginia
14. North Carolina
16. Virginia Tech
17. Texas Tech
22. Florida State
23. Ohio State
25. Arizona State