After debuting in the AP poll at No. 2, then falling to No. 9 after a loss to Arizona, Duke men’s basketball remained inside the top-10 after defeating then-No. 18 Michigan State, as it remains at No. 9. The Blue Zone breaks down movement in the poll around the country:
After a heartbreaking loss to then-No. 12 Arizona, Duke needed to rebound fast, as a big one at the Champions Classic against Michigan State loomed. Respond the Blue Devils did, knocking off the Spartans 74-65 to get back above .500. Freshman guard Caleb Foster was the star in Chicago, going for a career-high 18 points on 7-of-8 shooting off the bench. Head coach Jon Scheyer’s team then returned back home for the first game of the Blue Devil Challenge, a matchup against Bucknell. Despite a relatively close start and star sophomore forward Kyle Filipowski missing a period due to an apparent ankle injury, Duke coasted to a 30-point victory. The big week did not do much in the eyes of voters, though, as the Blue Devils remained at No. 9. They will have two more games to build on their strong week during Feast Week as the Blue Devil Challenge concludes.
While often thought of as a football conference, the SEC has churned out an excellent basketball product the past few years, with several teams from the league consistently being staples in the top 25. This week, however, two of the conference’s finest faltered, as Kentucky and Arkansas both took their first loss of the year. The Wildcats were on the losing end of the Champions Classic, falling to No. 1 Kansas in a 89-84 thriller. The Razorbacks sustained a lower-tier loss, falling 78-72 at home to UNC Greensboro. Both teams will look to bounce back this week before huge upcoming matchups, with Kentucky taking on Miami Nov. 28, and Arkansas hosting Duke Nov. 29. The two SEC powerhouses fell to No. 16 and No. 20 respectively in this iteration of the poll.
Cinderella loses its slipper
For the last two years, the committee has shown that it immensely values a team’s tournament performance from the year prior, with Florida Atlantic coming in at No. 10 to start the year after its Cinderella run last season. However, their fortunes have not been as great this season, as the Owls suffered their first defeat of the season, losing to then-1-3 Bryant — who features former NCAA tournament darling Doug Edert — 61-52. Florida Atlantic will have to find a way to pick up some big wins in the rest of its non-conference slate if it wants to climb the rankings again, as they land at No. 19.
12. Texas A&M
14. North Carolina
19. Florida Atlantic
21. Michigan State
22. James Madison
23. Southern California
25. Mississippi State
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