Carolina still No. 1 in AP men’s poll, but lead over Gonzaga cut

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

RankTeamChangePoll points
(first-place votes_
1North Carolina (2–0)1,543 (44)
2Gonzaga (2–0)1,497 (14)
3Houston (2–0)1,439 (2)
4Kentucky (2–0)1,394 (3)
5Baylor (2–0)1,253
6Kansas (2–0)-11,218
7Duke (2–0)1,216
8UCLA (2–0)1,138
9Arkansas (2–0)+11,059
10Creighton (2–0)-11,036
11Texas (2–0)+1932
12Indiana (2–0)+1867
13Auburn (2–0)+2724
14Arizona (2–0)+3694
15TCU (2–0)-1630
16Virginia (2–0)+2590
17San Diego State (2–0)+2524
18Alabama (2–0)+2436
19Illinois (2–0)+4316
20Michigan (2–0)+2308
21Dayton (2–0)+3280
22Tennessee (1–1)-11264
23Texas Tech (2–0)+2190
24Texas A&M (2–0)131
25UConn (2–0)124

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.

(current ranking)
28FridayW, 101–40Johnson C. Smith HomeExhibition
7MondayW, 69–56UNCWHome1–0
11FridayW, 102–86College of CharlestonHome2–0
15TuesdayW, 72–66Gardner-WebbHome3–0
20SundayW, 80–64James MadisonHome4–0
Phil Knight Invitational
24ThursdayW, 89–81First round: PortlandPortland5–0
25FridayL, 70–65Semifinals:
Iowa State
27SundayL, 103–101,
4 OTs
No. 18 Alabama
ACC/Big Ten Challenge
30Wednesday9:15 No. 11 IndianaBloomington, Ind.ESPN
4Sunday3 p.m.Virginia TechBlacksburg, Va.ACCN
10Saturday3:15Georgia TechHomeESPN
13Tuesday7 p.m.The CitadelHomeESPN2
CBS Sports Classic
17Saturday3 p.m.Ohio StateNew YorkCBS
Jumpman Invitational
21Wednesday7 MichiganCharlotteESPN
30 Friday TBAPittsburghPittsburghACCN
4Wednesday9 p.m.Wake ForestHomeACCN
7Saturday11:30 a.m.Notre DameHomeESPN2
10Tuesday9 p.m.No. 5 VirginiaCharlottesvilleESPN or ESPN2
14Saturday2 p.m.LouisvilleLouisville, Ky.ESPN
17Tuesday7 p.m.Boston CollegeHomeRSN
21Saturday5 p.m.N.C. StateHomeACCN
24Tuesday9 p.m.SyracuseSyracuse, N.Y.ESPN
1Wednesday7 p.m.PittsburghHomeACCN
4Saturday6:30No. 8 DukeDurhamESPN
7Tuesday7 p.m.Wake ForestWinston-SalemESPN or ESPN2
11Saturday2 p.m.ClemsonHomeESPN or ESPN2
13Monday7 p.m.MiamiHomeESPN
19Sunday1 p.m.N.C. StateRaleighESPN
22Wednesday9 p.m.Notre DameSouth Bend, Ind.ESPN or ESPN2
25Saturday6 or 8No. 5 VirginiaHomeESPN
27Monday7 p.m.Florida StateTallahassee, Fla.ESPN
4Saturday6 or 6:30No. 8 DukeHomeESPN
ACC Tournament
If tickets for home games are available, you can purchase them here. ACCN means the game airs on ACC Network. RSN means the game airs on regional sports networks (in many cases, Bally Sports but also MASN, NESN and Yes Network.)

Photo via @UNC_Basketball

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