Tennessee or Duke? Let's consider the strongest evidence for each team...
The case for Tennessee: Rick Barnes' team hasn't lost since the day after Thanksgiving, and that was in overtime to a Kansas team that was still at full strength. The Volunteers are one of just two teams to beat Gonzaga this year, and, unlike North Carolina, Tennessee wasn't on its home floor when it took down the Bulldogs. Grant Williams and Admiral Schofield may end up finishing 1-2 in SEC Player of the Year balloting.
Williams is the featured scorer on an offense that's ripping through the SEC at a rate of 1.23 points per possession. At their current pace the Vols will rank as the best shooting team in SEC play the league has seen in at least a decade. On defense, Tennessee is forcing turnovers on better than one in five possessions and holding conference opponents to under 45 percent shooting on their 2s. The Vols have recorded 13 of their 16 wins by double-digit margins.
The case for Duke: The Blue Devils are just eight points away from a perfect record, with wins over Auburn, Texas Tech, Florida State and Virginia to their credit. Duke's making close to 60 percent of its 2s in ACC play, an exceptional level of efficiency in one of the nation's toughest conferences.
Leading that highly efficient interior attack is Zion Williamson. The freshman sensation is combining volume with effectiveness in a way that college basketball has rarely seen. Against Virginia's fearsome pack-line defense, he rang up 27 points on 15 shots from the field. Along with RJ Barrett, Cam Reddish and, when he returns from injury, Tre Jones, Williamson gives Coach K the best combination of excellence on offense and defense he's had since the 2015 team won the national title.
So then, which team has your vote?
Who should be No. 1 in college basketball?— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 21, 2019
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