11. Duke (11-3)
The Blue Devils brought back a significant amount of talent from last season and added another incredible recruiting class into the mix. Everything was set up for Duke to be a national power again this season, but that hasn’t quite happened. Some early struggles sort of pushed the Blue Devils out of the spotlight but they certainly haven’t given up, getting on quite the hot streak in recent weeks.
ACC play began in earnest this past week, and Duke got going with an 86-66 win against Syracuse. Mark Mitchell had 21 points and 6 rebounds, Jared McCain had 18 points, and Jeremy Roach added 17 in their first conference victory. Their Saturday outing was slightly more of a challenge, though the Blue Devils held on for a 67-59 win on the road against Notre Dame. Mitchell’s 23 points and 14 rebounds again lead the team, with Roach scoring 18 as well.
Duke sits 2-1 in the ACC, having suffered a rough loss at Georgia Tech over a month ago. They’ve now won six straight games since then, including their great performance against Baylor. The offense has been much better and the team is playing inspired basketball, but will they have enough to claim a conference title? A tricky game at Pittsburgh awaits next week followed by a chance for revenge against Georgia Tech.