March Madness is fast approaching, so changes in the AP Top 25 Poll have become even more important. With Duke and other key programs on the move, the Blue Zone reflects on this week's rankings:
Duke back to No. 7
The Blue Devils ensured that head coach Mike Krzyzewski's penultimate game in Cameron Indoor Stadium ended in a win. After beating Wake Forest last Tuesday, Duke also grabbed a win against Florida State. It was not an easy one, as the Seminoles got off to a hot start, but Duke got it going at the end of the half to take a 52-41 lead into the break. For Blue Devil fans, this came as sweet revenge since Florida State had previously handed Duke its third loss of the season back in January. But what does this win mean for Duke in terms of the rankings? Well, most of the teams in the top ten won their games, so it was highly unlikely that we would see Duke rise by much given that their recent victory was also against an unranked team. Still, it returned to No. 7, where it was two weeks ago before falling to No. 9 following its loss to Virginia.
Auburn on the slip again
Apart from a skirmish between Wisconsin and Michigan after the hand-shake line, Auburn’s 63-62 loss to Florida was another big surprise this weekend in the college basketball world. Auburn, ranked No. 1 two weeks ago, lost their top spot last week to Gonzaga and fell to No. 2 after losing by a four-point margin to then-receiving votes Arkansas. Fast forward another week, and the Tigers have lost a much closer game to Florida. The Gators are unranked, but the Tigers escaped with just a one-place slide to No. 3 this week.
Arkansas going in the right direction
After handing a defeat to the then first-ranked team, Auburn, Arkansas seems to be heading in the right direction. While it hit a roadblock with a very narrow 68-67 loss to Alabama, the Razorbacks still moved from receiving votes into the No. 23 spot that week. However, Arkansas put that loss behind it, handily beating Missouri then putting up a 58-48 win against then-No. 16 Tennessee. This ensured that Arkansas continued its ascent come noon on Monday, Feb. 21, when it rose five spots to No. 18, just below previous opponent Tennessee.
9. Texas Tech
16. Southern California
19. Murray State
22. Ohio State
23. Saint Mary's
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