CLEMSON, S.C. -- It'll be a debate, because people love to debate.
But there really shouldn't be any debate at all.
So go ahead AP voters -- and you too, coaches -- and slot Wake Forest No. 1 on your ballots now that top-ranked Pittsburgh has lost at Louisville. Why? Because otherwise you'll be wrong, that's why. Dino Gaudio's team is 16-0 with wins over No. 5 North Carolina, No. 10 Clemson and No. 21 Baylor. One of those games was at home (UNC), one was on the road (Clemson) and the other came on a neutral court (Baylor) -- meaning the Demon Deacons have proved they can beat you here, there or over yonder, and they have all the ingredients of a traditional No. 1 team.
His name is Jeff Teague.
At least three future NBA players?
Their names are Jeff Teague, Al-Forouq Aminu and James Johnson.
A strong defense?
They have one of the five most efficient defenses in the country, according to KenPom.com.
So while I like Duke, Connecticut and Pittsburgh plenty -- you have my permission to rank them second, third and fourth, if you want -- the reality is that none of them can match Wake Forest's body of work, if only because Wake Forest's body of work doesn't include a loss. The lone one-loss team that can even try to make a case for the No. 1 spot is Duke, which is 16-1 overall and 4-1 against schools currently ranked in the AP Top 25; that's impressive, no question. But Wake Forest is 16-0 overall and 3-0 against schools currently ranked in the AP Top 25, and that's the difference, to me.
Duke and Wake Forest both have good wins.
But Duke lost at Michigan.
And Wake Forest hasn't lost anywhere.
So that's why the Demon Deacons deserve to be No. 1 in any respectable ranking.
And you can rest assured that's where they'll be in mine -- i.e., the Top 25 (and one) -- come late Sunday night.