Luke DeCock

Luke DeCock’s AP Top 25 basketball poll ballot: Week 8

Let’s just skip right to the inevitable complaints.

“Arizona State beat the No. 1 team in the country but you have the Sun Devils ranked No. 19!”

Arizona State also lost to Vanderbilt this week. Next.

“N.C. State beat Auburn and you have Auburn 11th and N.C. State 18th! Did you even watch the game?”

Auburn drops four spots after a road loss to a good team; N.C. State jumps up seven, the most of anyone in the poll this week.

“Kentucky beats North Carolina and is still ranked behind the Tar Heels? Idiot!”

Kentucky was lucky to be ranked last week; 23rd is fair for a team with one (and only one) good win. North Carolina dropped a whopping 11 spots, most of anyone in the poll this week.

Furman exits after a road loss at LSU. Nebraska is the new 25th team. Also under consideration: Iowa State, Cincinnati and Belmont.


Week 1 (Preseason) Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7


1. Duke (Last week: 2)

2. Michigan (3)

3. Nevada (4)

4. Virginia (5)

5. Kansas (1)

6. Tennessee (6)

7. Michigan State (9)

8. Gonzaga (11)

9. Florida State (13)

10. Virginia Tech (14)

11. Auburn (7)

12. Texas Tech (8)

13. Mississippi State (15)

14. Ohio State (16)

15. Wisconsin (18)

16. Oklahoma (19)

17. Marquette (23)

18. NC State (25)

19. Arizona State (20)

20. Buffalo (12)

21. North Carolina (10)

22. Indiana (21)

23. Kentucky (24)

24. Houston (22)

25. Nebraska (NR)

OUT Furman (17).

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Sports columnist Luke DeCock has covered four Final Fours, the Summer Olympics, the Super Bowl and the Carolina Hurricanes’ Stanley Cup. He joined The News & Observer in 2000 to cover the Hurricanes and the NHL before becoming a columnist in 2008. A native of Evanston, Ill., he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and has won multiple national and state awards for his columns and feature writing while twice being named North Carolina Sportswriter of the Year.