AP College Basketball Poll 2018: First Regular-Season Rankings Released

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistNovember 12, 2018

Duke's Zion Williamson,left, blocks a shot by Army's Josh Caldwell, right, during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Durham, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018. Duke won 94-72. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Gerry Broome/Associated Press

It took all of one week for Duke to ascend to the nation's No. 1 ranking.

The Blue Devils moved up three spots to college basketball's pinnacle in the latest Associated Press poll, unseating No. 2 Kansas. Gonzaga holds the No. 3 spot, while Virginia and Tennessee round out the Top Five.

Here's a look at how the entire Top 25 played out:

1. Duke

2. Kansas

3. Gonzaga

4. Virginia

5. Tennessee

6. Nevada

7. North Carolina

8. Villanova

9. Auburn

10. Kentucky

11. Michigan State

12. Kansas State

13. Oregon

14. Florida State

15. Syracuse

16. Virginia Tech

17. Mississippi State

18. Michigan

19. Clemson

20. UCLA

21. TCU

22. LSU

23. Purdue

24. Marquette

25. Buffalo 

Kansas is the fourth team in AP poll history to lose the preseason No. 1 ranking in the first week without losing. And the Jayhawks dropped through no fault of their own. Kansas looked strong in its 92-87 win over Michigan State, which is currently the No. 11 team in the country.

Instead, it's by sheer force of Duke's brilliance that the Blue Devils soared to No. 1. The three-headed monster of Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett and Cam Reddish looks even better than advertised, unloading a 118-84 beatdown of Kentucky in their season opener before a 94-72 win over Army on Sunday.

Army hung with Duke until the final 12 minutes, when the Blue Devils went on an 11-point run to take the victory. 

"That whole thing, the hangover of success and travel and then getting ready for a game," coach Mike Krzyzewski told reporters. "The only way you do it is to do it. And our guys don't feel good about themselves right now. And that's good. Although they turned it around in the second half, they were in a position to lose the game and they responded, and they responded really well."

Duke's 135 weeks at No. 1 are the most in NCAA history. Kentucky, which sat second in the preseason poll, dipped all the way to No. 10.

The Wildcats would have been the biggest losers in the poll if not for West Virginia, which dropped from No. 13 all the way outside the Top 25 with a 99-94 loss to Buffalo. The Bulls got 43 points and 14 rebounds from CJ Massinburg in the impressive win, which sent them into the Top 25 for the first time in program history at No. 25.

No. 24 Marquette rounds out the new entries in a mostly stagnant poll. 

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