Rankings Finally Give Duke Blue Devils Respect

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The old saying “to be the man, you have to beat the man” stays true for most cases in sports; however, what exactly did the Indiana Hoosiers do to deserve the nation’s top ranking?

The Hoosiers are a talented team, but the Duke Blue Devils deserved to be the number one-ranked team weeks ago. Indiana has beaten one quality team this season in the Georgetown Hoyas and that is it. Sorry, North Carolina Tar Heels fans, but that school is extremely overrated at the moment and doesn’t even deserve to be ranked higher than their state rivals, North Carolina State Wolfpack.

Even beating the Hoyas required overtime for the Hoosiers; meanwhile, Duke has taken down everybody placed in front of them, looking better and better each game.

It began in the season’s first week, when all the chatter was about how the seniors for the Blue Devils weren’t going to be able to handle the Kentucky Wildcats’ freshmen. Nerlens Noel was supposed to dominate Mason Plumlee while Archie Goodwin was going to run circles around Seth Curry. The freshman didn’t exactly look weak against Duke, but they didn’t look anywhere close to the Blue Devils’ level either.

Duke continued to roll and when the Louisville Cardinals backcourt of Peyton Siva and Russ Smith was supposed to run all over the team, the Blue Devils won again. This time, the team showed their own backcourt was talented, with freshman Rasheed Sulaimon proving he can be a factor while Quinn Cook took home Battle-4-Atlantis MVP honors.

The Blue Devils weren’t done there, when they handed the Ohio State Buckeyes and Temple Owls their only losses of the season. Two teams that could probably beat the Tar Heels team, the Hoosiers embarrassed.

After the impressive schedule to begin the year, the Blue Devils were still ranked behind Indiana, despite clearly defeating superior competition over and over. The voters didn’t want to put Duke ahead of the Hoosiers because they hadn’t lost, and so what had they done to deserve losing the top ranking? The old saying of “to beat the man..” was surfacing.

Only it had no merit in this situation, and it was insulting to Duke that they were ranked behind Indiana. The Hoosiers were only ranked above the nation’s new number one because the voters thought they were the best team in the preseason – the same voters that put North Carolina State ahead of everybody in the ACC rankings.

Now after the Indiana loss, Duke can no longer be denied what the team has known all season.

And that is the Blue Devils are the nation’s best team.

Michael covers ACC and Big East basketball along with the Toronto Raptors for Rant Sports, you can follow him on Twitter @MichaelxRoberts


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