Gonzaga is the nations new top-ranked team after defeating Duke and winning the Maui Invitational, moving up two spots to leapfrog No. 2 Kansas. The Blue Devils dropped down to No. 3 and are followed by Virginia and Nevada.
Gonzaga leaps Kansas; Duke, UNC fall in Power 36
Shortly after Gonzaga took No. 1 in the Associated Press Poll by a 32-31 first-place-vote margin, the Bulldogs completed the sweep by getting 17-of-32 first-place votes in the USA TODAY Coaches Poll, with No. 2 Kansas collecting the other 15.
Gonzaga didn’t quite “shock the world” with its win over Duke, though it’s worth noting that the Bulldogs — sans Killian Tillie, who will be out until January with a stress fracture — were an eight-point underdog. Instead, Gonzaga came out on fire and blazed out to an early lead before locking down defensively to snuff out a Duke comeback. Rui Hachimura has the look of an All-American, and he’s had plenty of help, including a 17-point, five-rebound, six-block performance from Brandon Clarke against Duke.
Kansas received more scoring production from preseason All-American Dedric Lawson this week, with the former Memphis star averaging 25 points per game in wins over Marquette and last week’s No. 5 Tennessee in the NIT Season Tip-Off. Perhaps more importantly, former 247Sports Composite five-star point guard Devon Dotson was brilliant at times, getting into the lane at will and looking well ahead of his expected pace so early in the season. Kansas hosts Stanford in the Jayhawks’ only game this week.
Duke didn’t figure to drop far after overcoming a double-digit second-half deficit to tie Gonzaga before faltering down the stretch in an 89-87 defeat, and the Blue Devils moved just two spots, to No. 3. The Blue Devils don’t face another team currently ranked in the Coaches Poll until Dec. 20, when Duke plays Texas Tech, a new entrant into the poll this week at No. 19.
All No. 4 Virginia has done is continue its ridiculous regular season run: Since the start of last season, the Cavaliers are 34-2 in regular season games, with Virginia’s lone home loss coming in overtime. Virginia is once again elite defensively, though the Cavaliers also currently have KenPom’s No. 12 offense, the kind of balance that could lead to a significantly longer postseason run this March.
Michigan moved up three spots to replace Tennessee in the top five after the Volunteers’ 87-81 overtime loss to Kansas. Like Virginia, Michigan has rolled to an undefeated start thanks to one of college basketballs top defenses. Tennessee dropped to No. 7.
USA TODAY Coaches Poll 11/261. Gonzaga (17 first-place votes)2. Kansas (15)3. Duke4. Virginia5. Michigan6. Nevada7. Tennessee8. Michigan State9. Kentuckyt-10. Auburnt-10. Kansas State12. Virginia Tech13. North Carolina14. Florida State15. Iowa16. Ohio State17. Texas18. Purdue19. Texas Tech20. Buffalo21. Oregon22. Wisconsin23. Villanova24. Clemson25. Mississippi State
Others Receiving Votes: Maryland 77; Arizona State 51; UCLA 37; Louisiana State 36; Miami-Florida 30; Furman 27; Creighton 26; Minnesota 19; North Carolina State 19; Iowa State 16; Butler 12; St. Johns 9; Central Florida 9; Nebraska 8; Houston 7; Syracuse 7; Texas Christian 7; Indiana 5; West Virginia 4; North Texas 1; Arkansas 1.