Thoughts on the AP Poll: Duke slides to No. 10, Houston moves up to top spot

Freshman guard Jared McCain shoots a floater in Duke's game against Wake Forest.
Freshman guard Jared McCain shoots a floater in Duke's game against Wake Forest.

A 1-1 week consisting of a win at Miami and a loss at Wake Forest saw Duke men’s basketball drop two spots to No. 10 in the latest AP poll. The Blue Zone is here to break down movement around the country:

A step backwards

After a five-game win streak, Duke fell short on the road against Wake Forest before a sellout crowd in Winston-Salem, dropping to 21-6 on the season. The Demon Deacons were favorites to win the game, as they still remain at home after 15 games at the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Although the Blue Devils put up a good fight, junior guard Hunter Sallis stole the show with 29 points while shooting an incredible 5-for-6 from behind the arc. However, the main story occurred after the game ended when Wake Forest fans rushed the court and apparently injured sophomore center Kyle Filipowski in the process. In response, head coach Jon Scheyer called for a ban on court-storming. He will hope to have his big man available for two home games against Louisville and Virginia this week. As a result of the loss, Duke fell to No. 10 on this week’s poll.

Upsets in the Top 25

In addition to the Blue Devils’ loss to the Demon Deacons, many of the other top 25 teams were outplayed by lower-ranked or unranked teams last week. Then-No.1 UConn lost to then-No. 12 Creighton Tuesday, but did come back with a strong win against Villanova. Then-No.4 Arizona, who currently leads the Pac-12 conference, had mixed results against two teams from the state of Washington. The Wildcats triumphed against Washington but lost to Washington State, and this caused them to slide to No. 6 this week. Illinois, Dayton and Kentucky also all dropped games against unranked opponents, causing them to drop to No. 13, No. 21 and No. 16, respectively. 

New No. 1 

After the Huskies’ loss to the Blue Jays and Houston’s overtime win against No. 15 Baylor, the Cougars have risen up to the top spot in this week’s poll. Houston somehow surrendered its 16-point lead in the second half to send the contest into an extra period, where it finally managed to prevail over the Bears. The Cougars will try to maintain their lead at the top of the Big 12 table, as well as their perfect record on home soil, with games against Cincinnati and Oklahoma. If the team keeps up the performance, it is likely that it will end up as a No. 1 seed in the NCAA for the second-straight season.

Full Rankings

1. Houston

2. Purdue

3. UConn

4. Tennessee

5. Marquette

6. Arizona

7. Kansas

8. Iowa State

9. North Carolina

10. Duke

11. Auburn

12. Creighton

13. Illinois

14. Alabama

15. Baylor

16. Kentucky

17. Saint Mary's

18. South Carolina

19. Washington State

20. San Diego State

21. Dayton

22. Utah State

23. Gonzaga

24. Florida

25. South Florida


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