The Duke Blue Devils have been considered the top team in college hoops for the majority of this season, but one expert actually has two other programs ranked ahead of them.
After being away from the hardwood for over two weeks, the Blue Devils will host the Clemson Tigers on Saturday. With conference play finally here, Duke can boost its overall resume by defeating quality opponents in the ACC.
In fact, Matt Norlander of CBS Sports needs to see Duke dominate teams over the next few weeks to place them back in the No. 1 spot for his power rankings.
He currently has the Virginia Cavaliers and the Michigan Wolverines as the two best teams in college basketball.
Fortunately for Duke, upcoming matchups against Clemson and Florida State should provide an opportunity to strengthen its image.
Norlander is still very high on the Blue Devils, but the team hasn’t played on the road yet and its extended layoff played a role in them dropping to No. 3 on the list.
From CBS Sports:
The 11-1 Blue Devils have been chilling since that impressive win on Dec. 21 at MSG vs. Texas Tech. That was quite a while ago, but the biggest draw in college basketball returns this Saturday at home against Clemson. The game has appeal for a lot of reasons, but here’s one additional plot point: Zion Williamson was widely believed to be headed to Clemson, where his family had strong ties, before his stunning Duke commitment almost a year ago. If Duke starts ACC play by blowing teams out, a return to No. 1 is probably inevitable. Last week: No. 1.
There is no question that Duke has the talent to win this year’s national championship. The duo of Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett can compete with the very best in the country.
With the Blue Devils set to begin their ACC schedule, head coach Mike Krzyzewski will get the chance to see if his young core can handle lofty expectations.