Duke Now

Laura Keeley’s 2015-16 AP basketball poll ballot: Week 3

Duke center Marshall Plumlee (40) goes in against Kentucky forward Marcus Lee (0) and forward Alex Poythress (22) in the first half of play on Nov. 17, 2015.
Duke center Marshall Plumlee (40) goes in against Kentucky forward Marcus Lee (0) and forward Alex Poythress (22) in the first half of play on Nov. 17, 2015. cliddy@newsobserver.com

Yes, yours truly is a basketball poll voter, too, and it’s time to start posting this ballot when I remember and/or am not rushing to catch a flight.

This will surely be an unpopular take, I know. Early season polls are particularly difficult because some teams have quality wins and other teams just have bad losses. And make no mistake about it—blowing a 16-point second-half lead on the road to a mid-major team that had already racked up a bad loss itself is, in fact, a bad loss.

Now, could the Tar Heels make an equally large jump back up the poll with a win over Maryland? Absolutely. I believe in big swings as the thought process switches from preseason expectations to evaluating actual results. And I don’t factor in how I expect teams to look come March. My ballot is just a weekly snapshot of the present state of college basketball.

And yes, while Duke was clearly overmatched against Kentucky, I do think they beat two solid teams in Georgetown and VCU. And at this time of year, teams are lucky if they have one quality win.

1. Kentucky

2. Michigan State

3. Maryland

4. Iowa State

5. Oklahoma

6. Kansas

7. Gonzaga

8. Villanova

9. Miami

10. Duke

11. Virginia

12. North Carolina

13. Cal

14. Arizona

15. Indiana

16. Purdue

17. UConn

18. Notre Dame

19. Wichita State

20. Oregon

21. Baylor

22. Xavier

23. Vanderbilt

24. George Washington

25. LSU

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