Trevon Duval (right) and Duke stay at No. 1 on Luke DeCock’s AP poll ballot after winning their bracket of the PK80 this week. Steve Dykes Getty Images
Trevon Duval (right) and Duke stay at No. 1 on Luke DeCock’s AP poll ballot after winning their bracket of the PK80 this week. Steve Dykes Getty Images

Luke DeCock

Luke DeCock’s AP top 25 basketball poll ballot: Week 4

By Luke DeCock

ldecock@newsobserver.com

November 27, 2017 09:54 AM

Having the personal (mis)fortune of watching Arizona and Purdue in the Bahamas, I can safely dispatch both teams from the top 25. Those two, along with St. Mary’s, are out. Replacing them: Minnesota, TCU and Texas Tech.

But there was a lot of reshuffling otherwise in my poll this week, which will continue as we get more firm data points to replace preseason assessments. Michigan State moves back up not only because of a good PK80 but because Duke continues to shine; Notre Dame gets a bump for beating Wichita State in Maui; Texas A&M has quietly assembled a very impressive resume.

Based on what I’ve seen so far, there’s a top tier of about 11 teams that aren’t that far from each other. I’d imagine, in the short term, especially as schedules get softer over the holidays, most of the shuffling to occur within that group as opposed to teams moving in or out of it, although certainly there are teams just outside it that will have a chance to make their case to get in it.

NOTE: The first team outside that top 11 shouldn’t be there; Xavier got left in place when I was filling out my ballot on the system and ended up moving up by default. Should have been 21st. My apologies for the error.

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MY TOP 25

1. Duke (Last week: 1)

2. Kansas (4)

3. Villanova (5)

4. Cincinnati (8)

5. Michigan State (9)

6. Texas A&M (15)

7. Notre Dame (14)

8. Kentucky (10)

9. Florida (6)

10. North Carolina (7)

11. Wichita State (3)

12. Xavier (17)

13. Baylor (20)

14. Virginia (21)

15. West Virginia (22)

16. Gonzaga (13)

17. Miami (23)

18. Louisville (24)

19. Nevada (25)

20. Minnesota (NR)

21. Seton Hall (19)

22. Southern Cal (11)

23. Alabama (16)

24. TCU (NR)

25. Texas Tech (NR)

Sports columnist Luke DeCock: 919-829-8947, ldecock@newsobserver.com, @Luke DeCock