Duke basketball falls short of magic ranking in Coach K’s final week

Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski (Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski (Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Duke basketball team fell short of the top ranking ahead of a monster showdown. 

College basketball has never seen a weekend like it just had, and the Duke basketball program was looking to take advantage.

Seven of the Top-10 teams in last week’s Associated Press Top-25 Poll lost on Saturday, including the top six teams in the poll.

No. 7 Duke dominated Syracuse on the road on Saturday, and some thought the Blue Devils could make the leap to No. 1 after all of the upsets ahead of them.

The top ranking was not in the cards for the five-time National Champions, but a leap from No. 7 to No. 4 was made ahead of the final week of the regular season.

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Gonzaga, despite its loss to then-No. 23 St. Mary’s, remained at No. 1 while Arizona stayed at No. 2 with its loss on the road to Colorado.

Baylor was the only team that jumped Duke as the Bears went from No. 10 to No. 3 after their home victory over then-No. 5 Kansas.

Duke received 11 first-place votes, only behind 46 first-place votes for Gonzaga.

Baylor received three first-place votes.

The stage has already been set for Saturday night when Mike Krzyzewski takes the floor at Cameron Indoor Stadium for the final time against North Carolina, and his team holding the No. 1 ranking in the AP Poll would have brought another layer of drama for the emotional night.

Duke basketball still has unclear path in bracketology

ESPN’s Joe Lunardi still has Duke as a No. 2 seed after the chaotic weekend and the No. 7 overall seed, still sitting behind Auburn and Kentucky in the overall seeding.

Either the Wildcats or Tigers will lose at least one more time this season in the SEC Tournament.

Duke, should it win out, would be in a great position for a No. 2 seed in its preferred region or perhaps a No. 1 seed in its preferred region, assuming Gonzaga and Arizona will stay on the 1-line.

The No. 4 Blue Devils (25-4, 15-3 ACC) will play their final road game of the season on Tuesday night against the Pittsburgh Panthers (11-18, 6-12 ACC) at 8:00 p.m. (ACC Network).

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