Duke jumps to top spot in reshuffled AP Top 25
Published 5:27 pm Monday, November 29, 2021
By Aaron Beard, AP Basketball Writer
Mike Krzyzewski’s final team at Duke has reached a familiar milestone: No. 1 in The Associated Press Top 25 men’s college basketball poll.
The Blue Devils jumped four spots to the top of Monday’s poll following a win against Gonzaga that knocked the Bulldogs from the top spot. That adds to a record haul of top rankings both for the Duke program and for Krzyzewski, who is set to retire after the season.
This is the 127th week at No. 1 for Krzyzewski and the 145th for the Blue Devils, ahead of the late John Wooden (121) and UCLA (134).
The Blue Devils are No. 1 for the first time since spending two weeks there in November 2019 and it comes after a tumultuous season amid the pandemic that saw the program fail to make the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1995.
Duke (7-0) reloaded with a top-tier recruiting class featuring 6-foot-10 star Paolo Banchero and is back among the nation’s elite.
When the Blue Devils visit Ohio State on Tuesday in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, it will mark Duke’s 255th game as a top-ranked team under Krzyzewski compared with 161 games as an unranked team.
“It’s not about me, it’s about us,” Krzyzewski said after Friday night’s win against Gonzaga in Las Vegas. “This is our moment together, not my moment.”
THE TOP TIER
No. 2 Purdue earned nine first-place votes and moved up a spot behind Duke in a reshuffled poll that saw no team hold its spot from the previous week and three new teams join the rankings. It is the Boilermakers’ highest ranking since last reaching No. 2 late in the 1987-88 season.
Gonzaga fell to third, while reigning national champion Baylor rose two spots to No. 4 after winning the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas. UCLA fell three spots to No. 5 after a 20-point loss to Gonzaga last week, while Villanova, Texas, Kansas, Kentucky and Arkansas round out the top 10.
Florida made the week’s biggest jump by climbing nine spots to No. 14 after beating California, Ohio State and Troy last week.
No. 11 Arizona and No. 12 BYU each rose six spots, with the Wildcats making a rapid climb under first-year coach Tommy Lloyd after making their poll debut only a week ago.
No. 17 UConn also made a significant jump of five spots after finishing third at the Battle 4 Atlantis, which included a wild, 115-109 double-overtime win against a ranked Auburn team.
In all, 13 teams rose in this week’s poll.
Memphis had the week’s biggest tumble, sliding nine spots to No. 18 after losing to now-ranked Iowa State by 19 in the NIT Season Tip-Off championship game. No. 16 Alabama fell six spots, while No. 8 Kansas — which lost to Dayton on a last-second shot — No. 24 Michigan and No. 25 Seton Hall fell four spots.
In all, nine teams fell in this week’s poll.
Iowa State’s poll debut at No. 19 is part of a fast start for the Cyclones under coach T.J. Otzelberger, who took over a Cyclones program coming off a two-win season that included going 0-18 in Big 12 play.
No. 22 Michigan State joined the poll after beating UConn on the way to the Battle 4 Atlantis championship game, while Wisconsin jumped in at No. 23 after winning the relocated Maui Invitational in Las Vegas.
FAREWELL (FOR NOW)
Illinois (No. 14), St. Bonaventure (No. 16) and Xavier (No. 25) fell out of the rankings.
The Southeastern Conference leads the way with six ranked teams, while Duke is the only ranked team from the Atlantic Coast Conference.
SEC: 6 (Nos. 9, 10, 13, 14, 16, 21)
Big Ten: 4 (Nos. 2, 22, 23, 24)
Big 12: 4 (Nos. 4, 7, 8, 19)
Pac-12: 3 (Nos. 5, 11, 20)
Big East: 3 (Nos. 6, 17, 25)
West Coast: 2 (No. 3, 12)
American Athletic: 2 (Nos. 15, 18)
ACC: 1 (No. 1)