The Duke men’s basketball team moved into the No. 1 spot in the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches Poll on Monday, marking the 11th time in the past 16 years the Blue Devils have ascended to the top spot in the polls.
“We are excited about being ranked No. 1,” said senior Mason Plumlee. “Part of the reason you come to Duke is to play for a top ranked team, but we are really just focused on improving as a team each day. We are a mature group and we want to be ranked No. 1 at the end of the season. We feel like we are playing as well as anyone in the country and we want that to continue.”
Duke has opened the 2011-12 season with nine straight wins, including three wins over top-5 teams (No. 2 Louisville, No. 3 Kentucky and No. 4 Ohio State). The Blue Devils own four wins (Louisville, Ohio State, Minnesota and VCU) over teams that are currently ranked in the top 25 of the AP poll.
Mike Krzyzewski has now led Duke to the No. 1 ranking in either the AP or Coaches Poll in 18 of the past 28 seasons. Krzyzewski holds the NCAA record by leading the Blue Devils to the top spot in the AP poll in 16 different seasons.
The Blue Devils return to action as the top-ranked team in the country Wednesday, Dec. 19 with a home contest versus Cornell at 7 p.m. on ESPNU. Duke also faces Elon Thursday, Dec. 20 (7 p.m. – ESPNU) before the holiday break.
Here is a look at some more No. 1 notes for the Duke program:
· Duke has been ranked No. 1 123 weeks - second-most in NCAA history behind UCLA (134). Coach K has led the Blue Devils to the top spot in the AP poll 105 weeks.
· Duke has spent 92 weeks ranked No. 1 since 1990 - 40 more weeks than the next closest school (North Carolina) in that span.
· Including Wednesday's game, Duke has played more games at No. 1 (210) than as an unranked team (141) under Coach K.
· Entering Wednesday's game, Coach K is second in NCAA history in wins (183) and games (209) while on the sideline for the No. 1 team in the AP poll.
· Duke has been ranked No. 1 in 11 seasons since the 1997-98 campaign. The Blue Devils have been ranked No. 1 68 weeks in that span, 31 more than the next closest school (North Carolina).
· The last Duke recruiting class to not claim a No. 1 ranking in the Associated Press poll was Coach K’s three-man 1984-85 senior class of Todd Anderson, Jay Bryan and Danny Meagher. Those three played as the No. 2 team in the country for nine consecutive weeks during their senior season in 1984-85, but never reached the nation’s top spot. Since that class graduated, every one of Coach K’s recruiting classes has played as the No. 1 team in the nation for at least one week.