Tar Heels fall into tie with rival in AP Top 25 women’s poll

By R.L. Bynum

North Carolina slipped two spots to No. 8 in the latest AP Top 25 women’s basketball poll after losing at Indiana 87–63 in the Tar Heels’ only game last week.

It’s the first time that UNC has been ranked in the top 10 for three consecutive weeks since the Tar Heels did it six weeks in a row in the 2014–15 season from Dec. 1 until Jan. 5 (ranked No. 6 three weeks, No. 9 two weeks and No. 8 at the end of the streak).

The Tar Heels are tied at No. 8 with N.C. State (7–1), which moved up four spots after beating Iowa 94–81.

Carolina (6–1) returns home to Carmichael Arena for the first time in three weeks on Wednesday to face UNCW at 6 p.m. (ACC Network Extra/ESPN3) after playing four consecutive games away from Chapel Hill.

The Hoosiers (9–0), who also beat Illinois 65–61, moved up one spot to No. 4.

Carolina (6–1) wasn’t the only team in last week’s top 10 to lose.

Connecticut (6–1), which fell from No. 3 to No. 6, lost 96–77 to Notre Dame. The Irish (7–1), which moved from No. 7 to No. 5, lost to Maryland 74–72. Iowa fell from No. 10 to No. 16 after its loss to the Wolfpack.

Virginia Tech (8–0) moved from No. 9 to No. 7 after beating Nebraska 85–54 and winning at Tennessee 59–56.

In the first NET rankings of the season, Indiana is No. 4, N.C. State No. 7, Virginia Tech No. 8, Notre Dame No. 9 and UNC No. 11. Michigan, which UNC faces in the Jumpman Invitational in Charlotte on Dec. 20, is No. 14. The two teams the Tar Heels beat in Portland are also high in the NET, with Oregon No. 12 and Iowa State No. 13.

The Ducks moved up two spots to No. 17 in the AP poll and the Cyclones dropped two spots to No. 10. The Wolverines (9-0) jumped three spots to No. 14.

Louisville fell out of the rankings to end a streak of 127 consecutive weeks, which was the fifth-longest active streak. The Cardinals were No. 18 last week but lost to Ohio State 96-77 and Middle Tennessee 67-49.

Voting UNC the highest at No. 5 are Lindsay Schnell of USA Today and Michelle Smith (affiliation isn’t listed by AP). Voting the Tar Heels the lowest at No. 16 is Kelly Gramlich of ACC Network.

Mitchell Northam of WUNC, the only North Carolina-based voter, has N.C. State No. 4, Virginia Tech No.5, UNC No. 7, Notre Dame No. 9 and Virginia No. 24.

AP Top 25

RankSchoolChangePoll points
(1st-place votes)
1South Carolina (8-0)725 (29)
2Stanford (10-1)696
3Ohio State (8-0)+1646
4Indiana (9-0)+1643
5Notre Dame (7-1)+2586
6UConn (6-1)-3573
7Virginia Tech (8-0)+2530
8North Carolina (6-1)-2487
8N.C. State (7-1)+4487
10Iowa State (6-1)-2479
11LSU (9-0)416
12Arizona (7-0)+2387
13UCLA (8-1)+2364
14Michigan (9-0)+3337
15Utah (7-0)+1332
16Iowa (6-3)-6291
17Oregon (6-1)+2248
18Creighton (7-1)-5244
19Baylor (6-2)+2180
20Maryland (7-3)165
21Arkansas (10-0)121
22Gonzaga (7-2)+1106
23Oklahoma (7-1)99
24Kansas State (8-1)57
25Villanova (7-2)45

Others receiving votes: Kansas 37, Marquette 30, Louisville 28, Texas 17, St. John’s 14, South Florida 12, Miami (FL) 12, Virginia 8, Duke 5, Florida State 4, Rice 4, Purdue 3, Nebraska 2, Missouri 2, Seton Hall 1, Middle Tennessee 1.

(current ranking)
9WednesdayW, 91–59Jackson StateHome1–0
12SaturdayW, 75–48TCUHome2–0
16WednesdayW, 93–25South Carolina StateHome3–0
20SundayW, 76–65James MadisonHarrisonburg, Va.4–0
Phil Knight Invitational
24ThursdayW, 85–79OregonPortland5–0
27SundayW, 73–64No. 17 Iowa State Portland6–0
DecemberACC/Big Ten Challenge
1ThursdayL, 87–63No. 2 IndianaBloomington, Ind.6–1
7WednesdayW, 64–42UNCWHome7–1
11SundayW, 99–67WoffordHome8–1
16FridayW, 89–47USC UpstateHome9–1
Jumpman Invitational
20TuesdayL, 76–68No. 18 MichiganCharlotte9–2
ACC season begins
29ThursdayL, 78–71Florida StateHome9–3, 0–1 ACC
1SundayL, 68–65No. 4
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, Va.9–4, 0–2 ACC
5ThursdayL, 62–58MiamiCoral Gables, Fla.9–5, 0–3 ACC
8SundayW, 60–50No. 10
Notre Dame
1–3 ACC
12ThursdayW, 70–59VirginiaCharlottesville, Va.11–5,
2–3 ACC
15SundayW, 56–47N.C. StateHome12–5,
3–3 ACC
19ThursdayW, 61–56No. 13 DukeHome13–5,
4–3 ACC
22SundayW, 70–57Georgia TechHome14–5,
5–3 ACC
26ThursdayW, 72–57PittsburghPittsburgh15–5,
6–3 ACC
29SundayW, 69–58ClemsonClemson16–5,
7–3 ACC
2ThursdayW, 73–62VirginiaHome17–5,
8–3 ACC
5SundayL, 62–55LouisvilleLouisville17–6,
8–4 ACC
9ThursdayL, 75–67SyracuseSyracuse17–7,
8–5 ACC
12SundayW, 73–55Boston CollegeHome18–7,
9–5 ACC
16ThursdayL, 77–66, OTN.C. StateRaleigh18–8,
9–6 ACC
19SundayW, 71–58Wake ForestHome19–8,
10–6 ACC
23ThursdayL, 61–59No. 4
Virginia Tech
10–7 ACC
26SundayW, 45–41No. 13 DukeDurham20–9,
10–8 ACC
MarchACC Tournament
2ThursdayW, 68–58Clemson Greensboro21–9
3FridayL, 44–40No. 13 Duke Greensboro21–10
NCAA tournament
18SaturdayW, 61–59 St. John’sColumbus, Ohio22–10
20MondayL, 71–69No. 12 Ohio State Columbus, Ohio22–11

Photo courtesy of Indiana University Athletics


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