By R.L. Bynum
Carolina held the top spot in the latest AP Top 25 men’s basketball poll, but its lead in first-place votes over No. 2 Gonzaga fell from 35 votes to 30.
The Tar Heels (2–0) won home games against UNC Wilmington 69–56 and College of Charleston 102–86, with preseason ACC player of the year Armando Bacot scoring 28 points. The Zags (2–0) beat North Florida 104–63 but barely knocked off unranked Michigan State 64–63.
UNC’s first-place votes went from 47 in the preseason poll to 44 and Gonzaga went from 12 to 14. The Tar Heels play host to Garner-Webb at 8 o’clock Tuesday night (ACC Network).
In the USA Today Coaches Poll, Carolina went from leading Gonzaga by 18 first-place votes in the preseason poll to a 15-vote edge.
Houston (2–0) held at No. 3 in the AP poll after wins over Northern Colorado (83–36) and Saint Joseph’s (81–55) and went from one first-place vote to two. Kentucky (2–0), after wins over Howard (95–63) and Duquesne (77–52), held at No. 4 and went from two first-place votes to none.
Duke (2–0), which stayed at No. 7 after home wins over Jacksonville (71–44) and South Carolina Upstate (84–38), plays in the Champions Classic in Indianapolis at 9:30 p.m. Tuesday night against reigning NCAA champion Kansas (2–0), which fell one spot to No. 6 after beating Omaha 89–64 and North Dakota State 82–59.
Virginia (2–0) moved up two spots to No. 16 after home wins over N.C. Central (73–61) and Monmouth (89–42). The school canceled the Cavaliers’ scheduled home game Monday night against Northern Iowa after the shooting deaths of three Virginia football players.
Ranking UNC the lowest at No. 9 was Brian Holland of the WVLA-TV and WGMB-TV in Baton Rouge, La. David Jones of Penn Live in Dowington, Pa., has Carolina No. 5 and three voters have the Heels No. 3. All other voters have Carolina No. 1 or No. 2.
All three North Carolina-based voters have Carolina No. 1. C.L. Brown, the UNC beat writer for The News & Observer, has Duke No. 7 and Virginia No. 13. David Thompson of the Fayetteville Observer has Duke No. 6 and Virginia No. 17. Jordan Crammer of WNCN has Duke No. 5 and Virginia No. 15.
Tennessee had the biggest slide, going from No. 11 to No. 22 after losing 78–66 in Nashville to unranked Colorado.
Villanova fell from No. 16 to unranked after a 68–64 loss at Temple.
New to the poll are Texas A&M at No. 24 and Connecticut at No. 25.
AP Top 25
|1||North Carolina (2–0)||—||1,543 (44)|
|2||Gonzaga (2–0)||—||1,497 (14)|
|3||Houston (2–0)||—||1,439 (2)|
|4||Kentucky (2–0)||—||1,394 (3)|
|17||San Diego State (2–0)||+2||524|
|23||Texas Tech (2–0)||+2||190|
|24||Texas A&M (2–0)||—||131|
Others receiving votes: Michigan State 119, Purdue 104, Villanova 96, Miami (FL) 61, Saint Louis 47, Xavier 44, Ohio State 36, Oregon 36, Iowa 36, Memphis 20, Virginia Tech 13, Colorado 11, Arizona State 9, Toledo 8, Rutgers 8, Saint Mary’s 7, Florida 5, UC Irvine 4, Grambling State 4, Seton Hall 3, Penn State 1. Point values in parentheses indicate the number of first-place votes.
|28||Friday||W, 101–40||Johnson C. Smith||Home||Exhibition|
|11||Friday||W, 102–86||College of Charleston||Home||2–0|
|20||Sunday||W, 80–64||James Madison||Home||4–0|
|Phil Knight Invitational|
|24||Thursday||W, 89–81||First round: Portland||Portland||5–0|
|27||Sunday||L, 103–101, |
No. 18 Alabama
|ACC/Big Ten Challenge|
|30||Wednesday||9:15||No. 11 Indiana||Bloomington, Ind.||ESPN|
|4||Sunday||3 p.m.||Virginia Tech||Blacksburg, Va.||ACCN|
|13||Tuesday||7 p.m.||The Citadel||Home||ESPN2|
|CBS Sports Classic|
|17||Saturday||3 p.m.||Ohio State||New York||CBS|
|4||Wednesday||9 p.m.||Wake Forest||Home||ACCN|
|7||Saturday||11:30 a.m.||Notre Dame||Home||ESPN2|
|10||Tuesday||9 p.m.||No. 5 Virginia||Charlottesville||ESPN or ESPN2|
|14||Saturday||2 p.m.||Louisville||Louisville, Ky.||ESPN|
|17||Tuesday||7 p.m.||Boston College||Home||RSN|
|21||Saturday||5 p.m.||N.C. State||Home||ACCN|
|24||Tuesday||9 p.m.||Syracuse||Syracuse, N.Y.||ESPN|
|4||Saturday||6:30||No. 8 Duke||Durham||ESPN|
|7||Tuesday||7 p.m.||Wake Forest||Winston-Salem||ESPN or ESPN2|
|11||Saturday||2 p.m.||Clemson||Home||ESPN or ESPN2|
|19||Sunday||1 p.m.||N.C. State||Raleigh||ESPN|
|22||Wednesday||9 p.m.||Notre Dame||South Bend, Ind.||ESPN or ESPN2|
|25||Saturday||6 or 8||No. 5 Virginia||Home||ESPN|
|27||Monday||7 p.m.||Florida State||Tallahassee, Fla.||ESPN|
|4||Saturday||6 or 6:30||No. 8 Duke||Home||ESPN|
Photo via @UNC_Basketball