UNC win over Ohio State isn’t enough for return to AP Top 25

By R.L. Bynum

North Carolina’s thrilling 89–84 overtime victory Saturday over Ohio State still wasn’t enough to return the Tar Heels to the AP Top 25 men’s basketball poll.

The Tar Heels (8–4), the preseason No. 1 team, are unranked for the third consecutive week. Unlike last week, though, UNC received votes, garnering the 32nd-most poll points with 36. The Buckeyes (7–3) fell from No. 23 to unranked. UNC garnered the 33rd-most poll points in the USA Today Coaches poll.

There are no four-loss teams in the AP poll, with three losses the most for any ranked team: No. 11 Gonzaga (9–3), No. 16 Illinois (8–3), No. 18 Indiana (9–3), No. 19 Kentucky (7–3) and No. 24 Marquette (9–3).

Ranking UNC the highest at No. 19 was Seth Davis of The Athletic. Brian Holland of WVLA-TV in Baton Rouge, La., had UNC No. 20. Greg Madia of The Daily Progress in Charlotteville and Matt Charboneau of The Detroit News voted Carolina No. 22 and Donna Ditota of the Syracuse Post-Standard had the Heels No. 23. Four had UNC No. 24 and four others had the Heels No. 25.

Forty-seven voters didn’t rank UNC, including all three North Carolina-based voters: C.L. Brown of The News & Observer, David Thompson of the Fayetteville Observer and Jordan Crammer of WNCN.

Carolina goes for its fourth consecutive victory at 7 p.m. Wednesday (ESPN) against Michigan (7–3) in the Jumpman Invitational in Charlotte.

Armando Bacot is the ACC player of the week after averaging 21 points, 13 rebounds and 2.5 assists in Carolina wins over The Citadel and Ohio State. It’s the fourth time he’s earned the honor in is career and first time a Tar Heel has won it this season.

Virginia (8–1) fell from No. 2 to No. 6 after losing 69–61 at home to Houston (11–1), which moved up from No. 5 to No. 3. Alabama (9–2), which beat Carolina 103–101 in four overtimes on Nov. 27, fell from No. 4 to No. 9 after a 100–90 loss to Gonzaga, which moved up four spots.

Indiana, which beat Carolina 77–65 on Nov. 30, dropped four spots after an 84–62 loss to Kansas.

Other teams falling in the poll were Kentucky (six spots after a 63–53 loss to UCLA), 9–2 Auburn (from No. 19 to No. 23 after a 74–71 loss to Southern Cal) and 8–3 Maryland (from No. 20 to unranked after an 87–60 loss to UCLA).

Duke (10–2), which didn’t play last week, fell two spots to No.14, Virginia Tech (11–1) is up three spots to No. 21 after a 74–48 victory over Grambling and Miami (11–1) is up three spots to No. 22 after beating St. Francis 91–76.

AP Top 25

RankTeamChangePoll points
(1st-place votes)
1Purdue (11–0)1,502 (40)
2UConn (12–0)+11,482 (21)
3Houston (11–1)+21,374
4Kansas (10–1)+41,290
5Arizona (10–1)+41,269
6Virginia (8–1)-41,195
7Texas (9–1)1,064
8Tennessee (9–2)-21,024
9Alabama (9–2)-51,021
10Arkansas (10–1)1,004
11Gonzaga (9–3)+4895
12Baylor (7–2)-1873
13UCLA (10–2)+3871
14Duke (10–2)-2819
15Mississippi State (11–0)+2623
16Illinois (8–3)+2528
17Wisconsin (9–2)+5432
18Indiana (8–3)-4408
19Kentucky (7–3)-6370
20TCU (9–1)+1358
21Virginia Tech (11–1)+3297
22Miami (11–1)+3208
23Auburn (9–2)-4118
24Marquette (9–3)116
25Arizona State (11–1)98

Others receiving votes: Maryland 78, West Virginia 74, Xavier 71, Charleston 68, New Mexico 64, Memphis 59, North Carolina 36, Ohio State 33, Iowa State 26, Iowa 21, San Diego State 16, Utah State 10, Texas Tech 10, Michigan State 7, USC 7, Kansas State 5, Saint Mary’s 1.

Same non-league foes

Michigan will be the fifth non-conference school to face Carolina’s women’s and men’s basketball teams this season. The Tar Heels have swept two, split one and been swept by one. They both faced JMU on Nov. 20. Michigan will be the fourth school to meet both teams in the same city on successive days, although they played Iowa State in different Portland arenas.

SchoolWomen’s gamesMen’s games
UNCWW 64–42 Dec. 7 (H)W 69–56 on Nov. 7 (H)
James MadisonW 76–65 on Nov. 20 (R)W 80–64 on Nov. 20 (H)
Iowa StateW 73–64 on Nov. 24 (P)L 70–65 on Nov. 25 (P)
IndianaL 87–63 on Dec. 1 (R)L 77–65 on Nov. 30 (R)
MichiganTuesday (C)Wednesday (C)
H — home game; R — road game; P — at Phil Knight Invitational in Portland; C — at Jumpman Invitational in Charlotte

(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


1 Comment

  1. AS we learned last year, in-season rankings are slightly less useless than pre-season rankings. All that matters is that we perform well in the ACC and get to the tournament.


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