DURHAM, N.C. - Duke knows it won't be No. 1 when the new poll results are announced Monday. But the Blue Devils will still hold the top spot in the Atlantic Coast Conference - and, at least for now, that's good enough for them.
Gerald Henderson scored 18 points and the Blue Devils kept themselves atop the ACC on Sunday by routing Virginia 79-54. Nolan Smith added 15 points on 7-of-10 shooting for Duke (19-2, 6-1), the ACC's only team with fewer than two league losses.
They wrapped up what surely will be a one-week run as the nation's top-ranked team with a dominating effort that helped them bounce back from a final-seconds loss to Wake Forest that they insisted never tested their confidence.
"We just think, 'Next play,"' forward Kyle Singler said. "The game's over. I don't think we took a confidence hit. Guys are pretty confident, knowing who they are as players, and we know where we are as a team. Overall, I think we're fine."
Jon Scheyer finished with 11 points for Duke, which never trailed, shot 46 percent and forced 23 turnovers - 17 in the first half. And for a while, at least, its tough defense frustrated star freshman Sylven Landesberg in his first visit to Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Landesberg recovered from a rocky start and scored 12 of his 20 points in the second half. After turning it over three times on his first six trips downcourt and picking up two early fouls, he wound up leading the Cavaliers in scoring for the 11th time in 20 games while hitting the 20-point mark for the 10th time - the most by a freshman in school history.
"I sat a lot on the bench in the first half and had to try to find a way to get back in my rhythm," Landesberg said.
In the only other Top 25 games Sunday, Penn State upset No. 9 Michigan State 72-68; No. 19 Illinois beat Iowa 62-54; and No. 21 Villanova routed Cincinnati 71-50.
Mike Scott added 10 points for Virginia (7-10, 1-5), which lost its fifth straight and hasn't won an ACC game since the start of 2009.
The Blue Devils improved to 13-0 at home this season, winning for the 28th time in 29 games at Cameron while claiming their 14th straight win there over the Cavaliers.
Virginia fell to 1-27 all-time against top-ranked teams, remained winless in 13 tries on the No. 1 team's home floor and hasn't won in Durham since 1995. That's a tough chore in any year for the Cavs, but moreso this time with three freshmen in the starting lineup.
"This is a very bad year to be where we're at. This league is much better than at any point in time that I've been here," fourth-year coach Dave Leitao said. "This league is very, very good at a time where we're very, very young. I don't use that as an excuse. It's just a fact."
From the opening tip, Duke seemed determined to prove that its 70-68 loss to the Demon Deacons was nothing more than an aberration. The Blue Devils shot a season-worst 33 percent in Winston-Salem and missed 18 of their 22 attempts from 3-point range in a defeat that is almost certain to cost them their first No. 1 ranking since 2006.
"There's got to be some kind of fire in you after a loss, and it's nothing like you just try to show," Henderson said. "It's just something that's there. Because the last time you played, the last time people saw you play, you were a loser. We don't want to be seen as that."
Penn State 72, No. 9 Michigan State 68
At East Lansing, Mich., Talor Battle scored a career-high 29 points and Jamelle Cornley had 16 to lead Penn State to its first win in 17 trips to East Lansing.
Penn State (17-5, 6-3 Big Ten) overcame a 29-16 deficit with a barrage of 3-pointers late in the first half and took a 38-37 lead at the break. Battle had 18 of his points in the first 20 minutes.
The Nittany Lions used an 11-0 run to lead 59-49 and went up 68-56 before holding off a furious final surge.
Kalin Lucas had 23 points but missed a tying free throw and jump shot for the Spartans (17-4, 7-2), who played without Raymar Morgan and fell into a first-place tie with Purdue.
No. 19 Illinois 62, Iowa 54
At Champaign, Ill., Mike Tisdale scored 18 points and Illinois rebounded from its worst offensive showing in more than two decades.
Held to their lowest point total in 24 years in a 59-36 loss at Minnesota on Thursday, the Fighting Illini barely beat the Big Ten's 10th place team.
A 3-pointer by Jeff Peterson with 18 seconds left pulled Iowa within 58-54, but Tisdale and Mike Davis each hit two free throws as the Illini (18-4, 6-3 Big Ten) sent the Hawkeyes (12-10, 2-7) to their sixth loss in seven games.
Peterson led Iowa with 12 points, and Matt Gatens and Jarryd Cole added 10 apiece.
No. 21 Villanova 71, Cincinnati 50
At Philadelphia, Dante Cunningham scored 21 points, Scottie Reynolds added 11 to help Villanova rally from an early deficit.
Corey Fisher also had 11 for the Wildcats (17-4, 5-3 Big East), who won their third straight and 25th in a row at The Pavilion. The Wildcats' last loss at the arena was Jan. 6, 2007, when they fell to DePaul, 73-65. The streak began with a 102-87 win over Notre Dame on Jan. 17, 2007.
Alvin Mitchell scored 15 points and Yancy Gates added nine for Cincinnati (14-8, 4-5).