The Blue Devils split their week yet again in the ACC tournament, winning Friday but losing in the Saturday semifinal. A New AP Poll came out Monday, and the Blue Zone looks at the changes:
The No. 13 Blue Devils opened their week with a win against No. 19 North Carolina in the ACC quarterfinals Friday evening, but suffered a big-time defeat to No. 4 Virginia Tech. The 44-40 win against the Tar Heels was another nail-biter in a season series that has been defined by extraordinarily tight games and last-minute shots. On Saturday, the game did not go Duke’s way. The Blue Devils lost 58-37 to the Hokies and were stymied on offense, scoring double-digit points in just one quarter. The inability to score, coupled with 52.7% shooting from behind the arc for Virginia Tech, made this game a blowout. The Blue Devils are done until the NCAA tournament begins, but the AP voters never rest. Duke sat still at No. 13 this week.
Tigers lose grip
It was a difficult week for LSU, which opened with a win against Georgia but was ultimately eliminated from the SEC tournament in an upset loss to Tennessee. The Volunteers came out on top in a nail-biter, winning 69-67 and advancing to the SEC finals, where they lost to South Carolina. LSU has been one of the most dominant teams in the country this year, but that loss to an unranked Tennessee squad hurt the Tigers. They fell to No. 9 this week.
Utah also had a short-lived conference tournament experience. The Utes lost in their first game of the Pac-12 tournament, falling to Washington State 66-58 in the quarterfinals. Cougars center Bella Murekatete led the way in the upset, scoring 19 points and shooting 50% from the field. Utah was punished for such an early exit, and the Utes dropped to No. 8 this week.
It was a weekend full of strange Pac-12 occurrences, as the No. 1 seed in the tournament, Stanford, also made a premature exit. The Cardinal lost in an upset to UCLA in the semifinals, 69-65. A 22-point night from Bruins guard Kiki Rice was the driving force behind the win, as she also tacked on five assists and shot 12-of-13 from the charity stripe. Stanford’s loss to UCLA impacted its ranking, as the Cardinal moved to No. 5.
Notre Dame Slips
The Fighting Irish struggled in the ACC tournament this weekend, beating N.C. State 66-60 to open their postseason campaign but getting blown out by unranked Louisville in the second game of the weekend. While the 64-38 loss may in part be due to the injury of star guard Olivia Miles, the margin of defeat was extreme enough that the AP voters still punished Notre Dame for it. The Fighting Irish moved down to No. 11 this week.
1. South Carolina
4. Virginia Tech
11. Notre Dame
12. Ohio State
19. North Carolina
22. Washington State
25. Middle Tennessee
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