The AP rankings will lose all credibility if the Duke Blue Devils are the nation’s new No. 1 ranked team on Monday.
The Blue Devils were the only top five team not to lose this week, however, their performance over the past seven days is hardly worthy of being ranked at the top once again this season.
Duke defeated the North Carolina State Wolfpack 98-85 at home but it’s hardly an impressive win as the Wolfpack are wildly inconsistent. Plus, N.C. State was without Lorenzo Brown, arguably their best player, and the Wolfpack had already beaten the Blue Devils this season. The win was more about personal pride and redeeming themselves than anything to brag home about.
Duke then displayed a lackluster effort against the conference’s worst team, the Boston College Eagles, in a 62-61 victory. If the Eagles’ Olivier Hanlan handled the final possession better than the Blue Devils could easily have lost this contest. Hanlan took too much time off the clock before attempting a shot and ended up forcing up a jump shot that missed the entire net. Even though Boston College lost, the case that it was the better team on this night is one that could be easily made.
Not only did Duke have a week that wasn’t deserving of the nation’s top ranking but there’s no argument what-so-ever that could be made that they deserve the honor over the Miami(FL) Hurricanes.
No team has looked better since conference play has tipped off than Miami(FL), with the Gonzaga Bulldogs being the only team that could come close to the discussion. The Hurricanes have wiped the floor with the rest of the ACC, including 20+ point victories over Duke and the North Carolina Tar Heels. It would be an absolute joke to place Duke ahead of Miami(FL) with the way Jim Larranga’s team has played in recent weeks.
The AP rankings have a big decision on their hands as they could either do the right thing, or prove they are nothing more than a popularity contest. The Hurricanes might not deserve to be the top ranked team in the country, but they certainly deserve it more than the Blue Devils. Even Gonzaga deserves it more than Duke at this point.
It’ll be interesting to see what happens tomorrow afternoon, as the entire credibility of the ranking system is officially on the line.