Thoughts on the AP poll: Duke rises to No. 7, chaos in the top 10

Graduate student Ryan Young and sophomore Kyle Filipowski celebrate in Duke's win against Georgia Tech.
Graduate student Ryan Young and sophomore Kyle Filipowski celebrate in Duke's win against Georgia Tech.

Duke men’s basketball is back in the top 10 in this week’s AP poll, checking in at No. 7. The Blue Zone breaks down movement around the country in a wild week for the sport:

Steady Climb

After a rocky start to the season, Duke continues to find ways to win as 2024 marches on. This week, the Blue Devils emerged victorious in both of their ACC contests, cruising to a blowout win against Pittsburgh before barely escaping in a home thriller against Georgia Tech. Sophomore center Kyle Filipowski was the star of the show against both the Panthers and the Yellow Jackets, going for a total of 56 points over the week, including a career-high 30 at home to avenge a Dec. 2 loss to Georgia Tech. As a result of Filipowski's heroic efforts, head coach Jon Scheyer’s team comes in at No. 7 in this week’s poll and will ride a five-game win streak into Saturday’s home contest against Pittsburgh. 

Chaos at the top

It was a bad week to be a team in the top 10 of the poll. Eight teams within this range lost at least one game this week, with a majority coming against unranked foes. Starting at the top, Purdue suffered a 16-point loss on the road at Nebraska and fell to No. 2 this week. Houston may have had the worst week of any top team, dropping back-to-back games to Iowa State and TCU, and subsequently slipped to No. 5 this week. Kansas also lost to the Horned Frogs, but salvaged a potentially demoralizing stretch by knocking off then-No. 9 Oklahoma. The Jayhawks came in at No. 3 in this iteration of the poll. In the SEC, both Tennessee and Kentucky lost to unranked foes on the road and slipped to Nos. 6 and 8, respectively. Rounding out the back end of the top 10, Arizona, Oklahoma and Illinois all lost and all fell out of the top tier this week. 

Blue bloods continue to rise

The only squads in the top 10 who escaped Week 10 unscathed were two teams college basketball fans are very used to seeing in the upper echelon: UConn and North Carolina. The Huskies handled business by knocking off conference foes Xavier and Georgetown and are the new top dog this week. However, the most impressive team of the week may have been the Tar Heels, who have been on a tear recently. This week, head coach Hubert Davis’s group survived a road test against rival N.C. State, before returning to Chapel Hill and eviscerating Syracuse 103-67 to extend their win streak to six. North Carolina certainly looks the part of a national title contender, and the committee agrees, as the Tar Heels move up to No. 4 this week.  

Full rankings

1. UConn

2. Purdue

3. Kansas

4. North Carolina

5. Houston

6. Tennessee

7. Duke

8. Kentucky

9. Baylor

10. Memphis

11. Wisconsin

12. Arizona

13. Auburn

14. Illinois

15. Oklahoma

16. Utah State

17. Marquette

18. Creighton

19. TCU

20. BYU

21. Dayton

22. Ole Miss

23. Florida Atlantic

24. Iowa State

25. Texas Tech


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