Two weeks and four losses after being No. 1, UNC unranked

By R.L. Bynum

Since being ranked No. 1 in the AP preseason poll, North Carolina’s men’s basketball team continues to make dubious history.

The Tar Heels (5–4), No. 1 two weeks ago and No. 18 last week, fell out of the AP Top 25 in the latest poll released Monday after becoming the first preseason top-ranked team to lose four consecutive games.

Carolina got only one poll point, meaning only one voter had the Tar Heels on their ballot and had them No. 25. That voter was David Thompson of the Fayetteville Observer, who had UNC No. 4 last week.

It’s the first time in program history that UNC has fallen out of the poll after earning a No. 1 rank. The furthest previous drop by the Tar Heels after being No. 1 preseason or at any point in the season was No. 16 on Feb. 17, 1958.

Carolina also dropped out of the USA Today Coaches poll.

“I’m not panicked. I’m not any of that,” UNC coach Hubert Davis said after his team’s 80–72 loss Sunday at Virginia Tech, playing without Armando Bacot (right shoulder contusion) and reserve D’Marco Dunn (broken left hand). “This is a good basketball team, and I’m convinced that we’re gonna be a great basketball team by the end of the season.”

UNC, which also lost last week at Indiana 77–65, tries to rebound Saturday against Georgia Tech (3:15 p.m., ACC Network) in their first Smith Center game since Nov. 20. The Tar Heels can only hope that Bacot is able to return for that game.

In the first NET rankings of the season, Virginia is No. 9, Duke is No. 17 and UNC is No. 39.

The Tar Heels weren’t the only team to fall out of the AP poll. Michigan State (5–4) was No. 20 before losing to Notre Dame 70–5 and Northwestern 70–63.

Indiana (7–1) fell four slots after following up its win over UNC with a 63–48 loss at Rutgers.

Creighton (6–3) fell from No. 7 to No. 21 after losing 72–67 to Texas and 63–53 to Nebraska.

Virginia (7–0) held at No. 3 after topping Michigan 70–68 and Florida State 62–57. Duke (8–2) moved up from No. 17 to No. 15 after an 81–72 win over Ohio State and a 75–59 victory over Boston College.

Biggest previous UNC drops after being No. 1

16 — Feb. 17, 1958 (PS)
9 — Feb. 22, 1988; Nov. 23, 2015 (PS)
8 — Feb. 26, 2007; Jan 16, 2012 (PS)
PS — Preseason No. 1

AP Top 25

RankTeamChangePoll points
(1st-place votes)
1Houston (8-0)1,502 (37)
2Texas (6-0)1,473 (14)
3Virginia (7-0)1,416 (3)
4Purdue (8-0)+11,411 (8)
5UConn (9-0)+31,295
6Kansas (8-1)+31,131
7Tennessee (7-1)+61,046
8Alabama (7-1)+31,029
9Arkansas (7-1)+21,021
10Arizona (7-1)-61,013
11Auburn (8-0)+4853
12Baylor (6-2)-6841
13Maryland (8-0)+9811
14Indiana (7-1)-4759
15Duke (8-2)+2745
16Kentucky (6-2)+3596
17Illinois (6-2)-1554
18Gonzaga (5-3)-4517
19UCLA (7-2)+2479
20Iowa State (7-1)+3376
21Creighton (6-3)-14346
22San Diego State (6-2)+2265
23Mississippi State (8-0)187
24TCU (6-1)113
25Ohio State (6-2)81

Others receiving votes: Iowa 70, Charleston 54, Miami (FL) 29, Virginia Tech 27, Arizona State 20, Utah 16, Wisconsin 16, UNLV 14, Texas Tech 10, West Virginia 8, Marquette 7, Xavier 6, New Mexico 3, Memphis 3, Michigan State 3, Missouri 2, North Carolina 1, Kansas State 1

(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. 1 Alabama
ACC/Big Ten Challenge
30WednesdayL, 77–65 No. 21 IndianaBloomington, Ind.5–3
4SundayL, 80–72 Virginia TechBlacksburg, Va.5–4,
0–1 ACC
10SaturdayW, 75–59Georgia TechHome6–4,
1–1 ACC
13TuesdayW, 100–67The CitadelHome7–4
CBS Sports Classic
17SaturdayW, 89–84, OTOhio StateNew York8–4
Jumpman Invitational
21WednesdayW, 80–76MichiganCharlotte9–4
30 Friday L, 76–74PittsburghPittsburgh9–5,
1–2 ACC
4WednesdayW, 88–79Wake ForestHome10–5,
2–2 ACC
7SaturdayW, 81–64Notre DameHome11–5,
3–2 ACC
10TuesdayL, 65–58No. 14 VirginiaCharlottesville11–6,
3–3 ACC
14SaturdayW, 80–59LouisvilleLouisville, Ky.12–6,
4–3 ACC
17TuesdayW, 72–64Boston CollegeHome13–6,
5–3 ACC
21SaturdayW, 80–69N.C. StateHome14–6,
6–3 ACC
24TuesdayW, 72–68SyracuseSyracuse, N.Y.15–6,
7–3 ACC
1WednesdayL, 65–64PittsburghHome15–7,
7–4 ACC
4SaturdayL, 63–57No. 12 DukeDurham15–8,
7–5 ACC
7TuesdayL, 92–85Wake ForestWinston-Salem15–9,
7–6 ACC
11SaturdayW, 91–71ClemsonHome 16–9,
8–6 ACC
13MondayL, 80–72No. 16 MiamiHome16–10,
8–7 ACC
19SundayL, 77–69N.C. StateRaleigh16–11,
8–8 ACC
22WednesdayW, 63–59Notre DameSouth Bend, Ind.17–11,
9–8 ACC
25SaturdayW, 71–63No. 14 VirginiaHome18–11,
10–8 ACC
27MondayW, 77–66Florida StateTallahassee, Fla.19–11,
11–8 ACC
4SaturdayL, 62–57No. 12 DukeHome19–12,
11–9 ACC
ACC tournament
8WednesdayW, 85–61Boston CollegeGreensboro20–12
9ThursdayL, 68–59No. 14 Virginia Greensboro20–13

Photo via @UNC_Basketball


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