Luke DeCock

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

Duke Blue Devils guard Tre Jones (3) is focused on defense as St. John’s guard Shamorie Ponds (2) moves the ball up the court in the first half. Duke defeated St. John’s 91-61at Cameron Indoor Stadium In Durham, N.C. Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019.
Duke Blue Devils guard Tre Jones (3) is focused on defense as St. John’s guard Shamorie Ponds (2) moves the ball up the court in the first half. Duke defeated St. John’s 91-61at Cameron Indoor Stadium In Durham, N.C. Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019. cliddy@newsobserver.com

A reasonably quiet week, and at this point in the season we have a pretty good idea of how good these teams actually are, so not a ton of movement. Could even have left Michigan and Michigan State where they were, but they’re still clearly part of the eight teams that have separated themselves from the field. (That was nine, but Kansas isn’t the same team without Udoka Azubuike.)

Iowa State and Baylor enter while Oklahoma, LSU and Maryland exit, and we’ll give a nod to Lipscomb instead of Washington, Florida State or Cincinnati in the last spot. (Lipscomb’s four losses: at Louisville, at Clemson, at Belmont and vs. Belmont. Best wins: at SMU, at TCU and at Liberty) Don’t be surprised if both Wofford and Lipscomb are both single-digit seeds as autobids (or at-larges if they lose their respective tournaments, if the committee is paying attention) on Selection Sunday.

THIS SEASON’S BALLOTS

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

MY TOP 25

1. Tennessee (Last week: 1)

2. Duke (2)

3. Virginia (3)

4. Gonzaga (6)

5. North Carolina (7)

6. Kentucky (8)

7. Michigan State (5)

8. Michigan (4)

9. Nevada (9)

10. Marquette (10)

11. Houston (12)

12. Kansas (11)

13. Virginia Tech (13)

14. Villanova (14)

15. Purdue (15)

16. Wisconsin (19)

17. Iowa State (NR)

18. Texas Tech (20)

19. Iowa (22)

20. Louisville (18)

21. Auburn (25)

22. Baylor (NR)

23. Buffalo (17)

24. Wofford (24)

25. Lipscomb (NR)

OUT Oklahoma (16), LSU (21), Maryland (23)

Sports columnist Luke DeCock has covered the Summer Olympics, the Final Four, 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.
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