Commentary

Duke Blue Devils deserve to be No. 1

The polls and metrics agree, Duke is undisputed top team

Originally Published: November 3, 2010
By John Gasaway | Basketball Prospectus
Kyle SinglerAndy Lyons/Getty ImagesKyle Singler's return, plus the addition of new talent has Duke on top of the polls.

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.