Behind a career performance from Jayson Tatum, Duke beat Virginia 65-55 on Wednesday to extend its winning streak to six games while improving to 21-5 overall, 9-4 in the ACC and 17-2 with Mike Krzyzewski on the sideline. So, yeah, the Blue Devils are figuring things out and starting to look like a legitimate national title contender.
Amazing what a healthy roster and coach can accomplish, huh?
And that’s the thing that was always hilarious about those giving up on the Blue Devils when they were competing without key players and their Hall of Fame coach. Eventually, theoretically, everybody would be mostly healthy. And Mike Krzyzewski would be back. And when that happened there was forever a chance Duke would transform into something interesting.
That’s happened now.
The Blue Devils can obviously be carried in any game by Luke Kennard, Tatum or Grayson Allen. And when all three are clicking, watch out. They have a top-10 offense, a top-25 defense and a ceiling as high as anybody else’s. They’re now No. 8 in the CBS Sports Top 25 (and one).
Duke moving up one spot pushed UCLA down one spot, no fault of the Bruins. Steve Alford’s team is one of three Pac-12 teams in the top nine heading into Saturday’s rematch with USC. The Trojans are 22nd in the Top 25 (and one).
|The Zags' 26-0 record features 23 double-digit wins. They've beaten Arizona, Florida, Iowa State and Saint Mary's (twice).||--||28-4|
|The Wildcats have won six straight games since losing at Marquette. They're at least two games ahead of everybody in the Big East standings.||--||30-8|
|The Jayhawks erased a 14-point deficit in the final three minutes of regulation to beat West Virginia Monday. They have a two-game lead in the Big 12 standings.||--||34-6|
|The Bears have 10 top-50 RPI wins and only one sub-50 loss. No other team has more than eight top-50 wins.||--||27-7|
|Dillon Brooks finished with a game-high 21 points in Saturday's win at USC. The Ducks now have six top-50 RPI victories - among them wins over Arizona and UCLA.||--||20-15|
|The Wildcats have won 17 of their past 18 games. The lone loss in the stretch is a loss at Oregon.||--||33-4|
|The Cardinals have four top-50 RPI wins and zero sub-30 losses. Every loss on their resume is a loss to a school also ranked in the Top 25 (and one).||--||13-19|
|The Blue Devils' resume features four top-25 RPI wins and just one sub-35 loss. They're 17-2 this season with Mike Krzyzewski on the sideline.||1||32-7|
|The Bruins have won four straight games since losing at USC. They have the best offensive efficiency rating in the nation.||1||27-8|
|The Tar Heels are 10-3 in the ACC and alone atop the league standings. Their final three home games are against Virginia, Louisville and Duke.||--||29-10|
|The Mountaineers committed 21 turnovers in Monday's loss at Kansas. They're 6-3 against top-50 RPI teams with three sub-50 losses.||--||16-17|
|The Wildcats have won three straight games since losing at Florida. All five of Kentucky's losses are to top-50 KenPom teams.||--||26-8|
|The Cavaliers have three home losses after Wednesday's loss to Duke. They're 5-5 against top-50 RPI teams with wins at Louisville, at Notre Dame and at California.||--||21-14|
|The Badgers are still alone atop the Big Ten standings despite Sunday's loss to Northwestern. All four of their losses are to top-35 RPI teams.||--||25-8|
|The Boilermakers are 5-3 vs. top-50 RPI teams with two sub-50 losses. Three of their final five regular-season games will be played on the road.||--||29-8|
|The Gators will take a seven-game winning streak into Saturday's game at Mississippi State. Florida is 1-4 vs. top-25 RPI teams and 4-4 against the top 50.||--||20-14|
|The Irish have won three straight games since losing at North Carolina. Six of Notre Dame's seven losses are to top-15 KenPom teams.||--||24-11|
|The Seminoles are 9-2 against top-50 RPI teams with three sub-50 losses. They've beaten Louisville, Florida, Virginia and Duke but lost to Syracuse, Georgia Tech and Temple.||--||17-14|
|The Bearcats bounced back from their loss to SMU with an easy win over USF. They've only lost once in the past two months.||--||18-15|
|The Bulldogs' weird resume now features six top-50 RPI wins and four sub-50 losses. They've beaten Villanova and Arizona but lost to Indiana State and St. John's.||1||14-19|
|Two of the Gaels' three losses are to top-ranked Gonzaga. Their best win is a November victory over Dayton.||1||26-8|
|All five of USC's losses are to top-50 KenPom teams. The Trojans own victories over UCLA and SMU. 26 SMU||3||26-8|
|The Mustangs are just 2-2 against top-50 RPI teams. But they've won 19 of their past 20 games - including last weekend's game with Cincinnati.||3||24-9|
|The Terrapins' win at Northwestern doubled as their second top-50 RPI road win. They're 3-1 vs. top-50 RPI teams with three sub-25 losses.||NR||15-17|
|The Gamecocks are 0-2 in their past two home games with losses to Alabama and Arkansas. They're now a game back of Kentucky and Florida in the SEC standings.||5||18-13|
|The Bluejays lost at Seton Hall on Wednesday. They've dropped two of their past three games and are just 3-4 without Maurice Watson.||2||23-12|