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Will Anyone Beat Duke this Season?


The Associated Press has once again rolled out another college basketball poll and Duke remains at the top spot for the second-straight week. Will they carry on the honor till the season’s end?

The Blue Devils received all but two of the first-place votes in the latest addition of the AP poll on Monday. The Blue Devils (11-0) remain unbeaten through the first two months of the season, and it could very well end that way.

Not much talent resides in the ACC this season, which gives Duke a good chance of running the table this year. The few competitors to oust them off their top spot land on the shoulders of Maryland (10-1) and No. 25 North Carolina State.

The Terps have the best chance at upending college basketball’s best team in the nation. Their rebounding is what pushes them over the edge. The team nabs 44.4 rebounds per contest this season (which happens to rank fourth in the nation). They’re led by 7-foot-1 big man Alex Len, who inhales 8.8 per night. Freshman forward Charles Mitchell also is a significant contributor on the boards, nabbing 6.3 per contest.

Meanwhile, the Blue Devils give up a good amount of height with Mason Plumlee as their only big man. So if there’s anyone who can frustrate Duke more in the paint, it’s the stout bodies and long arms of Len and Mitchell.

Meanwhile, North Carolina has a legitimate shot of unseating Duke before season’s end. The team ranks as the most efficient offense in the nation, shooting an immaculate 53.4 percent from the field.

Not only does the Wolfpack make the most of their possessions, but the team boasts five players who can beat a defense on any single play: C.J. Leslie, Lorenzo Brown, Richard howell, Scott Wood and T.J. Warren. All five starters average double figures per game, which may end up being a matchup problem for the Blue Devils, and have upset potential.

Moreover, the team is known for its size and athletic backcourt, which may be the biggest factors in disrupting Seth Curry and Rasheed Sulaimon, the two streakiest players on Duke’s roster, and their knack of getting to the basket.

But if I were a betting man, I’d say the chances of Duke having an undefeated season are exceptionally high.

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