UNC moves up in AP Top 25 women’s poll

By R.L. Bynum

After two impressive blowout ACC victories last week, North Carolina moved up one spot to No. 23 in the latest AP Top 25 women’s basketball poll.

The Tar Heels (18–4, 8–4 ACC), who won 78–59 at Wake Forest on Thursday and 85–38 Sunday at Carmichael Arena against Miami, more than doubled their poll points from 66 to 136.

Florida debuted in the poll at No. 19 after wins last week over Tennessee (which fell from No. 7 to No. 13) and Georgia (which fell from No. 14 to No. 17) for the Gators’ first ranking since 2016.

Iowa fell from No. 21 and to No. 25 after losing to now No. 21 Ohio State (up two spots) 92–88 and now No. 4 Michigan (up two spots) 98–90. Oregon dropped from No. 19 to No. 24 after losing to now No. 6 Arizona (up two spots) 63–48 and Arizona State 55–49. Kansas State, No. 25 last week, fell out of the poll after losing to now No. 9 Iowa State (up two spots) 70–44.

Carolina also moved up a spot in the coaches poll Tuesday to No. 22.

UNC is No. 5 in the NET rankings, a tool that the NCAA tournament selection committee uses. Carolina is No. 9 in the Massey Ratings and No. 21 on the list at RealTimeRPI.com.

ESPN’s latest bracket projection has the Tar Heels as the No. 6 seed in the Greensboro Region, facing No. 11-seed Gonzaga in Bloomington, Ind.

Coach Courtney Banghart said after the Miami win that the challenging ACC schedule is preparing the Tar Heels for the NCAA tournament.

“Very much,” Banghart said. “When you look at our last eight games. There are just no bad teams. We know our margin of error is small, honestly. Every single game matters and that was number eight and we’re going to go for number nine on Thursday and we’ve just got to stack as many of them as we can.”

After three victories last week, Louisville (21–2) leapfrogged N.C. State (20–3) in the poll. The two teams are tied for the ACC lead at 11–1 but the Cardinals moved up one spot to No. 3 after beating Miami 69-66, Clemson 93-71 and Syracuse 100-64. The Wolfpack, which fell two spots to No. 5, lost to Notre Dame (which moved up two spots to No. 18) 69–66 and beat Florida State 68–48.

Georgia Tech (18–4, 9–2) moved up one spot to No. 11 after beating unranked Duke 59–46. The Blue Devils went from the 26th-most poll points at 39 last week to the 28th-most poll points at 14.

WUNC’s Mitchell Northam, the only North Carolina-based voter, has N.C. State No. 4, UNC No. 15 and he didn’t have Duke on his ballot.

AP Top 25

Others receiving votes: Kansas State 44, Ole Miss 24, Duke 14, Princeton 5, Dayton 3, Liberty 2, DePaul 2, Nebraska 1, Virginia Tech 1, Drexel 1. Point values in parentheses indicate the number of first-place votes.

ACC standings

UNC season statistics

DateScore, record/
day, time, TV
(current rank)
November (6–0)
992–47 win, 1–0HomeN.C. A&T
1489–33 win, 2–0RoadCharlotte
1789–44 win, 3–0HomeAppalachian State
2179–46 win, 4–0RoadTCU
2672–59 win, 5–0Bimini, BahamasX — VCU
2758–37 win, 6–0Bimini, BahamasX — Washington
December (6–0, 2–0 ACC)
182–76 win, 7–0RoadY — Minnesota
593–47 win, 8–0HomeJames Madison
12107–46 win, 9–0HomeUNC Asheville
15Game canceledHomeJacksonville
1976–63 win, 10–0, 1–0 ACCRoadBoston College
2183–47 win, 11–0HomeAlabama State
3079–43 win, 12–0, 2–0HomeSyracuse
January (4–4, 4–4 ACC)
281–62 win, 13–0, 3–0 ACCHomeClemson
672–45 loss, 13–1, 3–1RoadNo. 5 N.C. State
971–46 win, 14–1, 4–1HomeVirginia Tech
1670–64 loss, 14–2, 4–2RoadNo. 18 Notre Dame
2061–52 win, 15–2, 5–2HomeVirginia
2355–38 loss, 15–3, 5–3RoadNo. 11 Georgia Tech
2778–62 win, 16–3, 6–3RoadDuke
3066–58 loss, 16–4, 6–4HomeNo. 5 N.C. State
February (2–0, 2–0 ACC)
378–59 win, 17–4, 7–4RoadWake Forest
685–38 win, 18–4, 8–4HomeMiami
10Thursday, 6, ACCNXHomePittsburgh
13Sunday, 1, ACCNXRoadVirginia Tech
17Thursday, 6, RSNHomeNo. 3 Louisville
20Sunday, noon, RSNRoadFlorida State
24Thursday, 7, ACCNXRoadVirginia
27Sunday, TBA, ESPN2 or ACCNHomeDuke
ACC TournamentGreensboro
ACCNX — ACC Network Extra (ESPN3); ACCN — ACC Network; RSN — regional sports networks; X —Goombay Splash; Y — Big Ten/ACC Challenge

Photo courtesy of UNC Athletics Communications

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