Duke reclaims No. 1 in AP Top 25; Tennessee falls to fifth

The Athletic 2018-19 college basketball poll: It turns out we didn’t believe in Zion

Gonzaga (6) 3. Virginia 4.

The Blue Devils reclaimed the top spot in Monday's AP Top 25, the third time this season they've reached No. 1. The Blue Devils are ranked first this week after receiving 28-of-32 first-place votes.

Ranked fourth in the preseason, Duke (23-2) spent two weeks at No. 1 in November before losing to Gonzaga in the Maui Invitational championship game.

UK's performance against Tennessee, in which it led by as many as 24 in the second half on the way to a dominating 86-69 win in Rupp Arena, marked an nearly complete rehabilitation of the Cats' reputation in the eyes of many basketball observers after suffering a 34-point loss to Duke in the season opener.

Syracuse beat Duke in overtime in early January after Tre Jones was hurt six minutes into the game with a shoulder injury and did not return and Cam Reddish did not play in the game due to an illness.

The UW Huskies, who held off Washington State 72-70 on the road Saturday, earned 20 points in the poll, putting them four spots out of the top 25.

LSU followed up that performance with a narrow win over the weekend at Georgia, and they have now leapfrogged all the way from No. 19 last week to No. 13 in this week's poll.

That loss dropped the Wildcats five spots to No. 23 for the week's biggest slide. And No. 17 Villanova matched Tennessee's four-spot fall after the reigning national champions lost to St. John's at Madison Square Garden.

Reaction: Duke got two votes in the initial poll, with some skepticism about a freshman-led team being able to win on this stage.

Tennessee's loss shook up the entire Top-5 with the Blue Devils taking over at No. 1, Gonzaga, Virginia, Kentucky, and the Volunteers round out the new Top-5.

The Atlantic Coast Conference and the Big Ten took up almost half the spots in this week's Top 25. Michigan State 11. Marquette 12. Texas Tech 15. Purdue 16.

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