NCAA Basketball AP Top 25 Rankings: Duke Passes Tennessee, Reclaims No. 1 Spot
AP Top 25 College Basketball Rankings
The 23-2 Duke squad received 58 out of the 64 first-place votes to move up one spot and jump over Tennessee. Tennessee had previously held the spot for four weeks but fell to fifth following a loss to Kansas on Saturday. The highest-ranked team to hold its spot this week was No. 8 North Carolina.
Now, 16 weeks into the season, Duke has spent close to half of it at the top spot. This will be their seventh week. The team shows no signs of slowing down. When its core four freshmen, Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett, Cam Reddish, and Tre Jones start, they’ve been unbeatable except for falling to Gonzaga on November 21 in the title game of the Maui Invitational Tournament.
Coach Mike Krzyzewski has convinced his players to buy into roles and develop as more than just scorers. Though Williamson and Barrett lead the Atlantic Coast Conference with 22.7 and 22.4 points per game, Jones has the second highest assists per game with 5.4 and is a glue guy defender that holds the team together.
Duke first spent two weeks at No. 1 in November but wouldn’t return to the top spot until Christmas Eve. They’d hold the title for four more weeks until a miracle overtime road win by an unranked Syracuse team knocked them down. Both Reddish and Jones missed all or most of that game.
After the news, Duke versus North Carolina ticket prices shot up. The average price for tickets is $46.70. Just to get in the door, you’d have to fork over at least $29.27. As the teams gear up for March Madness, expect to see Duke become even more of a must-see show. It’s only a few weeks before most, if not all of its core will leave for the NBA.