Duke Blue Devils deserve to be No. 1
The polls and metrics agree, Duke is undisputed top team
Last week in offering my initial reaction to the AP preseason men's college basketball poll, I said the No. 3 ranking the voters gave to the Kansas State Wildcats struck me as a little high. Of course, I could as easily have addressed my comments to the ESPN/USA Today preseason poll. It too pegged the Wildcats as the third-best team in the nation. If the AP voters are wrong, they're in good company.
In fact while the sequence may differ slightly, both major polls agree that the top seven teams in the country are the Duke Blue Devils, Michigan State Spartans, Kansas State Wildcats, Ohio State Buckeyes, Pittsburgh Panthers, Villanova Wildcats and Kansas Jayhawks. So in this same spirit of consensus, I've decided to be a little more positive this week and talk about something I think the polls got right. I didn't have to look far to find an example. It's right there at the top of both major polls: Duke, the No. 1 team in the country.
To read why Duke has more than a critical consensus behind its No. 1 ranking, you must be an ESPN Insider.
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John Gasaway's 'Poll Position'
John Gasaway has written for Basketball Prospectus since its inception in 2007. His college hoops commentary appears weekly on ESPN Insider. John's writing has also appeared at SportsIllustrated.com, as well as in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and Playboy.