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This is to all those Duke Blue Devil basketball players, fans, and yes, even you Coach K. You are NOT, I repeat, NOT the best team in College Basketball. The coaches may have voted you number one, but even the casual college hoops follower can easily figure this one out. The University of Conneticut Huskies (UCONN) are the best team in the Nation right now..hands down. They may not be as flashy, or as stylish as those good 'ol Blue Devils, but they sure know how to get the job done. Don't you agree, Jim Calhoun?!
Duke received a total of 62 first-place votes in this week's AP Top 25 Poll, and 30 first-place votes in the ESPN/USA Today Poll, giving them the number 1 ranking in both polls. ESPN.com's Power Rankings Duke, University of Pittsburgh and Uconn in first, second and third. The Huskies managed just six first-place votes in the AP Poll and just a single first-place vote in the ESPN/USA Today Poll. In both of these they were ranked second behind Duke, of course.
Both Duke and Uconn currently hold records of 18-1. But, the Huskies strength of schedule is quite obviously greater than Duke's. Duke has played several weaker teams (i.e. Presbyterian, Duquesne, UNC-Asheville and Georgia Southern)--in all four of those games, Duke managed 90+ points. But, those four games were the only games in which they scored 90+. One more note; three of those four teams currently have losing records. As for their lone loss, it came against the unranked Michigan Wolverines (14-6, 4-4 in Conference), 81-73. On their schedule, Duke has just eight games against ranked teams, and they have only played three of them so far this season (all wins, nonetheless): @ #10 Purdue, v.s. #7 Xavier, v.s. #12 Georgetown.
The Huskies, on the other hand, have 13 ranked opponents on their schedule, and have already played seven of those 13 games (6-1). This season the team has put up 90+ twice (once against a team with a winning record), and their lone loss came against Georgetown, 74-63. Now, keep in mind that beating Georgetown for Uconn was a much tougher task for Uconn than Duke. Duke may have beat them, but at the time Georgetown was on a six-game winning streak, and beating a ranked conference opponent is very tough. Uconn out-rebounded the Hoyas and were, obviously, a much more physical team that day. Senior guard A.J. Price led the team in scoring with 16 points, but it was the 17 turnovers which ended up costing the Huskies the game. Uconn suffered their first loss of the season by just nine points.
Duke has a tough game tomorrow, playing, on the road, against the number four team Wake Forest (16-1)--the number one ranked team last week. I'm not even sure if Duke will see another week atop the College Basketball world. The Demon Deacons have as good a shot in this game than the Blue Devils.
Uconn is the best team in the nation, enough said.