By R.L. Bynum
Coach Hubert Davis talked about North Carolina’s win Sunday being validating but not enough AP poll voters are convinced.
The Tar Heels are unranked for the third consecutive week even after a 72–51 home victory Wednesday over then-No. 24 (and now unranked) Michigan and a 79–62 win Sunday at Georgia Tech in their ACC opener. UNC got the 29th-most poll points.
UNC was No. 19 in the preseason poll and was No. 18 before the Tar Heels lost at the Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off tournament to Purdue and Tennessee to fall out of the poll.
It turns out that the 93–84 loss to the Boilermakers will go down as a “good loss” considering that they’ve taken over as the No. 1 team for the first time in school history. They supplanted Duke, which fell to No. 3 after losing last week at Ohio State.
Two of the three North Carolina-based voters had the Tar Heels on their ballots. Lauren Brownlow of WRALSportFan.com voted them No. 21 and Ethan Joyce of the Winston-Salem Journal voted them No. 22. Luke DeCock of The News & Observer didn’t rank UNC on his ballot.
Carolina is unranked, with the 36th-most poll points, in the coaches poll.
Davis preached that the Michigan game needed to be validated with a victory over Georgia Tech.
“We played very well, but it didn’t mean anything if we didn’t show up and play well again [Sunday],” Davis said. “A lot of people came up after Wednesday’s game and they said, ‘Well, that was that was Carolina basketball.’ That was a Carolina win. And I said Carolina basketball was showing up on Sunday. I gave them the definition of validation in terms of proving.
“I say prove to yourself, prove to this program, prove to people that the way that you play defense and the energy and effort and the way that you shared a basketball on Wednesday night wasn’t a one-night thing, that this is this is who we are,” Davis said. “This is our team. And I just kept talking to them about that throughout the week and I’m just really proud of their effort.”
In the updated NET rankings, Carolina is No. 39 and Duke is No. 49. This is one metric that the NCAA basketball committee uses when picking teams for the tournament and seeding teams. It’s hard to put a lot of stock in the rankings in December, though, with the highest among ACC teams Virginia at No. 20 and Florida State at No. 21.
In Bart Torvik’s ranking based on statistics, Duke is No. 11, with Virginia Tech No. 32 and UNC No. 34.
AP Top 25
Others receiving votes: Colorado State 90, Xavier 78, Illinois 71, North Carolina 55, St. Bonaventure 37, Oklahoma 29, Memphis 14, Iowa 12, Michigan 11, San Francisco 10, Loyola Chicago 4, Indiana 3, Texas Tech 2. (Point values in parentheses indicate the number of first-place votes.)
UNC season statistics
|Date||Score, record/day, time, TV||Location||Opponent|
|5||83–55 exhibition win||Home||Elizabeth City State|
|9||83–67 win, 1–0||Home||Loyola Maryland|
|12||94–87 win, 2–0||Home||Brown|
|16||94–83 win, 3–0||Road||College of Charleston|
|20||93–84 loss, 3–1||Uncasville, Conn.||Y — No. 1 Purdue|
|21||89–72 loss, 3–2||Uncasville, Conn.||Y — No. 13 Tennessee|
|23||72–53 win, 4–2||Home||UNC Asheville|
|1||72–51 win, 5–2||Home||X — Michigan|
|5||79–62 win, 6–2, 1-0 ACC||Road||Georgia Tech|
|11||Saturday, 8, ACCN||Home||Elon|
|14||Tuesday, 7, ESPN2||Home||Furman|
|18||Saturday, 3, CBS||Las Vegas||Z — No. 4 UCLA|
|21||Tuesday, 7, ACCN||Home||Appalachian State|
|29||Wednesday, 7, ESPN2||Home||Virginia Tech|
|1||Saturday, noon, ACCN||Road||Boston College|
|5||Wednesday, 9, ESPN2||Road||Notre Dame|
|8||Saturday, 1, ESPN||Home||Virginia|
|15||Saturday, 8, ACCN||Home||Georgia Tech|
|18||Tuesday, TBA, ESPN||Road||Miami|
|22||Saturday, 8, ACCN||Road||Wake Forest|
|26||Wednesday, RSN||Home||Boston College|
|29||Saturday, 2, ACCN||Home||N.C. State|
|31||Monday, 7, ESPN||Road||Louisville|
|5||Saturday, 6, ESPN||Home||No. 3 Duke|
|8||Tuesday, 9, ESPN or ESPN2||Road||Clemson|
|12||Saturday, 2, ESPN or ESPN2||Home||Florida State|
|16||Wednesday, 8, ACCN||Home||Pittsburgh|
|19||Saturday, 4, ESPN or ESPN2||Road||Virginia Tech|
|21||Monday, 7, ESPN||Home||Louisville|
|26||Saturday, 2 or 4, ESPN or ESPN2||Road||N.C. State|
|28||Monday, 7, ESPN||Home||Syracuse|
|5||Saturday, 6, ESPN||Road||No. 3 Duke|
Y — Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off; Z — CBS Sports Classic
Photo via @UNC_Basketball