Duke basketball deserves to be unranked after inconsistent performances

Duke basketball head coach Jon Scheyer and forward Mark Mitchell (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball head coach Jon Scheyer and forward Mark Mitchell (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Duke basketball team deserves to be unranked after its inconsistent performances. 

For the better part of a month the Duke basketball squad has not looked like a Top-25 team in the country and the Associated Press Top-25 voters finally agree.

The Blue Devils (13-5, 4-3 ACC) dropped out of AP Top-25 on Monday, and deservedly so, after splitting its games, as the No. 24 team in the nation, last week at home against Pittsburgh and on the road against Clemson.

It’s the first time Duke has not been included in the Top-25 since the end of the 2020-21 season which the Blue Devils missed the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the interesting 1994-95 campaign.

Jon Scheyer’s team began the season as the No. 7 team in the Preseason AP Top-25 but have been slowly moving backwards in the poll ever since losing to Kansas in the Champions Classic in mid-November.

There is no gripe are argument to be made that Duke should still be a Top-25 team.

Ranked teams lose all the time in college basketball but very few teams that wish to be inside the Top-25 show a much inconsistency as the Blue Devils have this season.

Since the bulk of ACC play started Duke has lost by 11 points on the road to Wake Forest, 24 points on the road against NC State, and eight points away from Cameron against Clemson.

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Duke also needed a last-second bucket to win on the road against Boston College and a major second half comeback against Pittsburgh to avoid an upset at home.

It has not been pretty basketball in the last month and some of that can be attributed to the toe injury and absence of junior point guard Jeremy Roach but the Duke captain was on the floor for embarrassing defeated against the Demon Deacons and Wolfpack.

The Blue Devil freshmen — aside from Kyle Filipowski — have not lived up to its preseason hype and Jaylen Blakes, the only other scholarship returnee aside from Roach, as developed nicely but it is unfair to put the expectations on him of carrying the slumping team.

Duke basketball lacking quality victories

Not only is Duke not currently a Top-25 team but the program is also lacking signature victories.

The Blue Devils lost to now No. 2 Kansas, No. 3 Purdue, and No. 19 Clemson.

It’s win over then No. 25 Ohio State has been overshadowed by a Buckeye four game losing streak, which includes a defeat at home to lowly Minnesota.

Iowa is starting to turn things around after dropping four out of five games following its loss to the Blue Devils, including a 9-point home loss to Eastern Illinois.

The only Duke win that is aging very well is its neutral site victory over Xavier — now ranked No. 8 in the AP Top-25 — who looks like to be the best team in the Big East Conference under head coach Sean Miller.

Duke will have a chance to try and land another quality victory on Saturday afternoon (12:00p.m. ET, ESPN) when No. 17 Miami (15-3, 6-2 ACC) comes into Cameron Indoor Stadium.

It would be just the second victory of the season for Duke against an opponent that is ranked inside the Top-25 at the time of the game.

dark. Next. Duke season will continue to be a rollercoaster