Duke climbs to No. 1 in AP poll fol­low­ing Ken­tucky’s loss

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - SPORTS - By JOHN MAR­SHALL AP Bas­ket­ball Writer

Duke is back at No. 1, mov­ing up a spot fol­low­ing a pair of vic­to­ries last week.

The Blue Devils can thank Evansville for the jump.

Duke moved to No. 1 for the first time this sea­son, re­ceiv­ing 52 first-place votes from a 65-mem­ber me­dia panel in

The As­so­ci­ated Press men’s col­lege bas­ket­ball poll re­leased Mon­day.

The Blue Devils climbed a spot af­ter un­ranked Evansville pulled off the 2019-20 sea­son’s big­gest sur­prise so far by knock­ing off pre­vi­ous No. 1 Ken­tucky.

“Our sport is more prone to up­set than any be­cause there are just five peo­ple out there, so there’s age, ath­leti­cism, ma­tu­rity, depth and a lot of things where peo­ple can make up dif­fer­ences,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “That’s why there are a lot of so-called up­sets in our sport. A lot of peo­ple can win and you have to be ready to play all those peo­ple.”

Duke (4-0) crushed Cen­tral

Arkansas 105-54 last Tues­day and beat Ge­or­gia State 74-63 Fri­day be­hind Tre Jones’ ca­reer-high 31 points.

No. 2 Louisville re­ceived eight first-place votes and No. 3 Michi­gan State, the pre­sea­son No. 1, had four.

Kansas and North Carolina rounded out the top five, with No. 7 Vir­ginia re­ceiv­ing the fi­nal first­place vote, one spot be­hind Mary­land.

Ken­tucky was the over­whelm­ing pick at No. 1 last week, re­ceiv­ing all but one first-place vote af­ter knock­ing off pre­vi­ous No. 1 Michi­gan State in its opener.

The Wild­cats dropped to No. 9 this week with the 67-64 loss to Evansville in Lex­ing­ton.

“This was a great les­son for all of us, in­clud­ing me,” Ken­tucky coach John Cali­pari said. “I mean, we could say they got out­played and I could tell you I got out-coached.”


Ken­tucky’s loss caused a shift in the top 10.

Ev­ery team be­hind the Wild­cats moved up a spot ex­cept for Gon­zaga, which held at No. 8.

No. 10 Ohio State cracked the top 10 for the first time since reach­ing No. 8 in 2017-18, coach Chis Holtmann’s first sea­son. The Buck­eyes climbed six spots af­ter crush­ing thenNo. 10 Vil­lanova.


Ohio State had the big­gest jump in this week’s poll, fol­lowed by No. 14 Ari­zona’s five-spot climb.

Auburn moved up three places from No. 22.


Ken­tucky’s eight-place fall was the big­gest of the week. Vil­lanova was next, los­ing seven spots to No. 17 and No. 25 Wash­ing­ton fell five places.


Three teams moved into the AP Top 25 this week.

No. 20 Ten­nessee is ranked for the first time this sea­son af­ter knock­ing off Wash­ing­ton.

No. 21 Vir­ginia Com­mon­wealth, the pre­sea­son No. 25, is back in the poll fol­low­ing a two-point win over LSU and a rout of Jack­sonville State.

Texas moved in at No. 22 with wins over Cal­i­for­nia Bap­tist and Prairie View. The Longhorns are ranked for the first time this sea­son.


Florida had a pre­cip­i­tous drop af­ter los­ing to Con­necti­cut, fall­ing out of the poll from No. 15.

LSU was out from No. 23 fol­low­ing its loss to VCU and Saint Mary’s dropped out from No. 18 af­ter los­ing to Winthrop at home.


Duke’s Joey Baker (13) re­acts to a play dur­ing the sec­ond half of the team’s NCAA col­lege bas­ket­ball game against Ge­or­gia State in Durham, N.C., Fri­day, Nov. 15, 2019.


Ken­tucky coach John Cali­pari urges his team on dur­ing the sec­ond half of an NCAA col­lege bas­ket­ball game against Evansville in Lex­ing­ton, Ky., Tues­day, Nov. 12, 2019. Evansville won 67-64.

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