Following a very impressive week for both the Duke men’s (24-3, 11-3) and women’s (26-1, 16-0) basketball teams, both were due for a bump in the rankings. Unfortunately, only one received a boost while the other was forced to stay put as we get closer and closer to the NCAA tournament.
Duke’s men and women’s basketball teams both put together equally as impressive performances this past week, with the men earning blowout victories over Virginia Tech and Boston College, while the women knocked off #19 Florida State before blowing out #8 Maryland.
Duke jumped up three spots to the No. 3 rank, behind only Indiana and Gonzaga. This was a result of Florida (previously No. 5) and Miami (previously #2) both dropping games on the road to unranked opponents and the Blue Devils leapfrogging Michigan, who came out sluggish in a win over Illinois.
The women’s team was unable to move up in the rankings, which is understandable. Baylor nor Uconn nor Stanford nor Notre Dame gave the voters any reason to have Duke jump over any of them. The only one of the foursome to lose was Uconn, and that was a narrow 76-70 loss to #1 Baylor.
With the NCAA tournament just a few weeks away, these rankings finally begin to start becoming relevant. For the most part, the top-four teams in the polls are going to find themselves picking up the much sought-after No. 1 seeds in the tournament. The men’s team has found themselves back in a strong position for the No. 1 rank, but the women’s team is currently sitting just outside. With Uconn and Notre Dame almost guaranteed to meet in the Big East tournament, though, they could slip in if they can finish the season undefeated and win the ACC tournament, which is a brutal task on its own.