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Thoughts on the AP Poll: Duke drops a spot

The Blue Devils are unable to defend their rank having not played a game since December 16th and thus dropped again.
The Blue Devils are unable to defend their rank having not played a game since December 16th and thus dropped again.

The Blue Zone is back with another round of our thoughts on the latest AP rankings. Duke took a dip and a few teams made surprising jumps in this past week:

Lack of games hurts Duke

After having two consecutive conference games postponed, Duke had to go this entire past week without playing a game and the result was a one-spot drop in the rankings. The Blue Devils checked in at No. 21 this week, and have by far played the least amount of games in comparison to all of the other ranked teams. 

Duke is scheduled to host Boston College and Wake Forest this week and one big question looms overhead in the lead up to the latter game: Will Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski be allowed to participate? After a potential COVID-19 exposure to a person outside of the team’s travel party, Duke announced Krzyzewski would not be allowed to coach against Florida State prior to the game postponement, and he will have to continue to be away from the team against the Eagles.

It is currently up in the air if he will be cleared to return to coach against Wake Forest.

Horns up

Texas has quietly been dominating this season, and the AP fully rewarded it after the Longhorns crushed Kansas by over 20 points. Their four-spot jump puts them at No. 4 and makes them the second-highest ranked Big 12 team behind Baylor. 

Texas’ win against Kansas pushed the Jayhawks out to No. 6 and helped put Villanova back up to No. 3. Outside of No. 1 Gonzaga and No. 2 Baylor, the rest of the top five spots continue to change hands from week to week. Iowa is right behind the Longhorns at No. 5, largely due to its two wins against ranked opponents this past week, but the fight to remain a top-five team continues to be filled with hiccups and unexpected turns.

The big droppers

Florida State dropped the most spots out of anybody this week, with their seven-spot fall pushing them all the way to No. 25. The Seminoles suffered a loss to now-No. 19 Clemson and did not have a chance to respond with a win due to the postponement against Duke. 

Michigan State and Houston were right behind Florida State, as each dropped six spots due to some major upsets by Minnesota and Tulsa, respectively. The Spartans are clinging to the No. 23 spot and Houston now finds itself knocking on the door of the top-10 at No. 11.

Complete rankings

1. Gonzaga

2. Baylor

3. Villanova

4. Texas

5. Iowa

6. Kansas

7. Creighton

8. Wisconsin

9. Tennessee

10. Michigan

11. Houston

12. Illinois

13. Missouri

14. West Virginia

15. Rutgers

16. Minnesota

17. Oregon

18. Texas Tech

19. Clemson

19. Virginia Tech

21. Duke

22. Virginia

23. Saint Louis

23. Michigan State

25. Florida State

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