I cannot remember a single Monday morning where the topic of who would be the No. 1 team in the country was so wide-open.
In a season where there is no “best” team, four of the top five from last week’s poll lost in the past seven days. Kansas lost twice. Duke had a chance to vault themselves back into the top spot, but they went ahead and struggled to hold off Boston College on the road, needing a trio of Mason Plumlee free throws in the final minute to win.
As a result, this week’s No. 1 ranking felt like a toss-up. It felt like we should just have five teams tied for fifth place, and then go from there. But alas, someone has to be ranked No. 1, and for the second straight week — despite losing to a team that currently sits in the bottom half of the Big Ten — Indiana is the nation’s No. 1 team. The Hoosiers got 26 first place votes, while Duke (20), Miami (17) and Gonzaga (2) all got at least one first-place vote.
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The rest of the top five is as follows: Duke, Miami, Michigan and Gonzaga. Florida falls from No. 2 to No. 7 after getting drubbed by Arkansas. A three game losing streak for the Jayhawks has dropped Kansas from No. 5 to No. 14. Oregon has falled all the way to No. 23 this week after making their way into the top ten two weeks ago.
Things look quite different in the Coaches poll. Duke takes over the top spot, receiving 18 of the 31 first-place votes. Indiana (seven first-place votes) is second, followed by Gonzaga (one first-place vote), Miami (five first-place votes) and Michigan (one first-place vote).
The only major issue I have with the poll is ranking Duke above Miami. The Blue Devils have a much stronger overall profile than Miami does, but Duke is also playing without Ryan Kelly and just a few weeks removed from a 27 point beatdown at the hands of the Hurricanes. This isn’t seeding for the NCAA tournament; this a poll, a vote to determine who in the best team in the country today.
I just don’t understand how you can put Miami behind Duke right now.
You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.