Luke DeCock’s AP Top 25 basketball poll ballot: Week 3

·2 min read

This was a fun week to pick a new No. 1 after Duke’s win over Gonzaga in Las Vegas on Friday, with three worthy candidates each with a different case to make.

There’s Duke, obviously, at the top of the challenge ladder after knocking off the Zags and with another good neutral-site win over Kentucky … but not much else. Although at this time of year, that’s not uncommon.

Purdue has wins over Villanova and North Carolina, but neither of those is as impressive at this point as beating Gonzaga. It’s still a strong case to make.

And Baylor actually may have the best overall analytics of the three, with a wider array of sneaky good wins but without that marquee win over another elite team.

In the end, like a dog-show judge, that was my order, 1-2-3, Duke-Purdue-Baylor. They’re clearly the top three at this point, although you could argue Gonzaga should still be No. 2 and there’s certainly a case to be made there. On this ballot, the Zags sit fourth behind the three undefeated front-runners. No shame in that.

Elsewhere, my faith in Memphis was not adequately rewarded, although the Tigers did post a good win over Virginia Tech before the Iowa State loss.

My two open spots went to LSU and USC, with the ACC-Big Ten Challenge likely to shake things up elsewhere next week. Ohio would also get a long look with a win over LSU on Wednesday.

Duke forward Wendell Moore Jr. (0) brings the ball up while Gonzaga guard Julian Strawther (0) and Gonzaga center Chet Holmgren (34) defend during the second half of Duke’s win Friday.
Duke forward Wendell Moore Jr. (0) brings the ball up while Gonzaga guard Julian Strawther (0) and Gonzaga center Chet Holmgren (34) defend during the second half of Duke’s win Friday.

THIS SEASON’S BALLOTS

Preseason | Week 1 | Week 2

THIS WEEK’S TOP 25 BASKETBALL BALLOT

1. Duke (Last week: 6)

2. Purdue (5)

3. Baylor (8)

4. Gonzaga (1)

5. Texas (7)

6. Villanova (10)

7. UCLA (4)

8. Kansas (3)

9. Michigan (11)

10. Houston (9)

11. Tennessee (14)

12. Kentucky (17)

13. Florida (20)

14. Arizona (21)

15. Arkansas (19)

16. BYU (22)

17. Memphis (2)

18. Connecticut (16)

19. Alabama (12)

20. Illinois (13)

21. Xavier (18)

22. San Francisco (25)

23. St. Bonaventure (15)

24. LSU (NR)

25. USC (NR)

OUT Ohio State (23), Maryland (24).

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