The college basketball conference races are heating up and the rankings received a make-over with the loss of then-No. 1 Tennessee to then No. 5 Kentucky at Rupp Arena on Saturday. The Duke Blue Devils reclaimed the top spot in Monday’s AP Top 25. It is the third time this season the Devils reached the No. 1 slot. Then-No. 2 Devils overcame a 23-point second half deficit to beat No. 16 Louisville earlier in the week and followed the epic comeback with a dominating victory over North Carolina State on Saturday.
In other college basketball news No. 11 Michigan State Spartans junior center Nick Ward injured his shooting hand in Sunday’s victory over Ohio State. The school’s athletic department announced Ward as out indefinitely. An MRI revealed a hairline fracture in his left hand. A release from the school today said Ward will be “reevaluated on a weekly basis and it is hoped he will return before the end of the season.”
The Spartans head coach Tom Izzo added to the teams injury report. Izzo told the media that junior guard Joshua Langford, who suffered a foot injury in late December, likely will need surgery and will miss the rest of the season.
The Spartans are 10-3 without Langford and remain a contender for the Big 10 league title and check in at 10-1 to win the college basketball national championship at the Las Vegas SuperBook, Westgate. The unknowns surrounding the injury to Ward will likely make gamers hesitant to go all in on Sparky until more is known about Ward’s availability moving forward.
Duke earned 58 of 64 first-place votes to climb one spot and replace the Tennessee Volunteers, who fell to fifth after Saturday’s loss to the Kentucky Wildcats.
AP Top 25 Poll
RANK / TEAM / RECORD
- Duke / 23-2
- Gonzaga / 25-2
- Virginia / 22-2
- Kentucky / 21-4
- Tennessee / 23-2