FORT WAYNE — Indiana had just annihilated North Carolina 83-59.
Tar Heels’ coach Roy Williams was asked during his postgame news conference whether he thought Indiana was the No. 1 team in the country.
“I think they are,” Williams said. “The thing I like about them is that they really are a team. They don’t have one guy that beats you up; they beat you up so many different ways.
“ … I definitely do believe that they deserve to be ranked where they are.”
Forty-five voters in The Associated Press men’s basketball poll agreed, as Indiana remained at No. 1 in the rankings released Monday.
Duke is No. 2. The Blue Devils received 20 first-place votes.
I had the Hoosiers at No. 1 and Duke at No. 2 in my ballot.
Duke picked up two more first-place votes from last week.
A case could be made for Duke. The 8-0 Blue Devils have wins against Kentucky, Louisville, Ohio State, Minnesota and VCU.
The Wildcats were No. 3 at the time Duke beat them in Atlanta. The Cardinals were ranked No. 2 when the Blue Devils topped them in the championship at the Battle 4 Atlantis. The Buckeyes were No. 4 when Duke defeated them at Cameron Indoor Stadium last week as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
That’s one impressive résumé.
But Indiana showed on Nov. 27 against North Carolina why it still has the top spot.
The Hoosiers’ 24-point victory against then-No. 14 North Carolina served as a statement. The game went from tied at 31 to over in no time.
Indiana is also 8-0. The Hoosiers have crushed the competition, with a point differential of plus-31.8. Indiana has two wins against teams in this week’s rankings, No. 15 Georgetown and No. 20 North Carolina.