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.
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.
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.
UNC season statistics
day, time, TV
|9||92–47 win, 1–0||Home||N.C. A&T|
|14||89–33 win, 2–0||Road||Charlotte|
|17||89–44 win, 3–0||Home||Appalachian State|
|21||79–46 win, 4–0||Road||TCU|
|26||72–59 win, 5–0||Bimini, Bahamas||X — VCU|
|27||58–37 win, 6–0||Bimini, Bahamas||X — Washington|
|December (6–0, 2–0 ACC)|
|1||82–76 win, 7–0||Road||Y — Minnesota|
|5||93–47 win, 8–0||Home||James Madison|
|12||107–46 win, 9–0||Home||UNC Asheville|
|19||76–63 win, 10–0, 1–0 ACC||Road||Boston College|
|21||83–47 win, 11–0||Home||Alabama State|
|30||79–43 win, 12–0, 2–0||Home||Syracuse|
|January (4–4, 4–4 ACC)|
|2||81–62 win, 13–0, 3–0 ACC||Home||Clemson|
|6||72–45 loss, 13–1, 3–1||Road||No. 5 N.C. State|
|9||71–46 win, 14–1, 4–1||Home||Virginia Tech|
|16||70–64 loss, 14–2, 4–2||Road||No. 18 Notre Dame|
|20||61–52 win, 15–2, 5–2||Home||Virginia|
|23||55–38 loss, 15–3, 5–3||Road||No. 11 Georgia Tech|
|27||78–62 win, 16–3, 6–3||Road||Duke|
|30||66–58 loss, 16–4, 6–4||Home||No. 5 N.C. State|
|February (2–0, 2–0 ACC)|
|3||78–59 win, 17–4, 7–4||Road||Wake Forest|
|6||85–38 win, 18–4, 8–4||Home||Miami|
|10||Thursday, 6, ACCNX||Home||Pittsburgh|
|13||Sunday, 1, ACCNX||Road||Virginia Tech|
|17||Thursday, 6, RSN||Home||No. 3 Louisville|
|20||Sunday, noon, RSN||Road||Florida State|
|24||Thursday, 7, ACCNX||Road||Virginia|
|27||Sunday, TBA, ESPN2 or ACCN||Home||Duke|
Photo courtesy of UNC Athletics Communications