Luke DeCock

Luke DeCock’s AP Top 25 basketball poll ballot: Week 14

What happened to Duke? Grayson Allen talks about what went wrong in loss to St. John's.

Duke guard Grayson Allen describes what went wrong for the Blue Devils early in the upset at the hands of St. John's.
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Duke guard Grayson Allen describes what went wrong for the Blue Devils early in the upset at the hands of St. John's.

I promised last week.

I will say this: Villanova has two tough home games (Creighton, Seton Hall) and Virginia has a tough home game (Louisville) and a sneaky tough road game (Syracuse) this week. I don’t think both teams will go 2-0, but if they do, the road win would be enough to move Virginia to No. 1. The margins are that small here.

It’ll stay that way, too, if both teams keep winning; Virginia’s trip to Florida State is tougher than anything Villanova has this week. And so it will go, week to week, until someone loses or there’s a major shift to either resume because of tectonic shifts elsewhere.

Apropos of nothing: I’m so disappointed in Wichita State. I still think that can be a Final Four team, but it’s certainly not a top-25 team right now.

Losses people think are bad but really aren’t: Arizona at Washington; Oklahoma at Texas; Kentucky at Missouri; North Carolina at Clemson. I’m not going to hold any of those teams too accountable for losing road games to teams that, while they may not be top-25 caliber in some cases, are objectively good teams that are tough to beat at home. Even Duke at St. John’s is one of those by the raw numbers, even if it’s brutal in every other way.

Another team that fits into that category? N.C. State, which still isn’t among the top 25 teams in the country in my mind (yet) but won’t surprise anyone at this point if it beats the Tar Heels in Raleigh on Saturday. If N.C. State can win at Virginia Tech and beat North Carolina for a second time, then the Wolfpack would get my vote. Another promise for next week.

North Carolina point guard Joel Berry talks about the pressure to win in February heading toward tournament play.


Week 1 (Preseason) Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9 Week 10 Week 11 Week 12 Week 13


1. Virginia (Last week: 2)

2. Villanova (1)

3. Purdue (3)

4. Michigan State (5)

5. Xavier (6)

6. Cincinnati (8)

7. Auburn (9)

8. Duke (4)

9. Texas Tech (10)

10. Gonzaga (12)

11. Tennessee (13)

12. Kansas (7)

13. Ohio State (14)

14. Clemson (19)

15. St Mary’s (16)

16. Arizona (11)

17. Oklahoma (15)

18. Kentucky (17)

19. Michigan (NR)

20. Butler (NR)

21. West Virginia (20)

22. North Carolina (21)

23. Rhode Island (25)

24. Creighton (22)

25. Miami (NR)

OUT Florida (18), Florida State (23) Wichita State (24)

Sports columnist Luke DeCock: 919-829-8947, @Luke DeCock