UNC falls to in AP Top 25 women’s poll after two losses

By R.L. Bynum

After a pair of narrow losses to start the ACC season extended its losing streak to three, North Carolina fell nine spots to No. 22 in largest drop in this week’s AP Top 25 women’s basketball poll.

The Tar Heels (9–4, 0–2 ACC) lost Thursday at home 78–71 to Florida State (14–2, 3–0), which earned the 27th-most poll points, and Sunday at Virginia Tech (12–2, 2–2), which fell two spots to No. 9 after losing 64–59 at Clemson on Thursday.

UNC tries to end the skid at 6 p.m. Thursday at Miami (8–6, 1–2). The Hurricanes nearly upset Notre Dame — which moved up one spot to No. 4 — at Coral Gables, Fla., Thursday before falling 66–63. The Irish (12–1, 3–0) visit UNC at 4 p.m. Sunday.

It’s the lowest ranking this season for Carolina, which has lost its first two league games for the first time since the 2020–21 season. UNC was No. 12 in the preseason poll, and peaked at No. 6 on Nov. 28 and Dec. 19 before falling to No. 13 last week after the 75–68 loss in Charlotte on Dec. 20 to Michigan.

The Wolverines (12–2) are still at No. 14 after beating Nebraska 76–59 but losing to No. 3 Ohio State 66–57.

Ranking UNC the highest at No. 11 was Mitchell Northam of WUNC, the only North Carolina-based voter. Kevin Tresolini of Delawareonline.com has the Tar Heels No. 12.

Five voters each had UNC No. 20 and No. 24. Two voters each had the Tar Heels No. 18, No. 19 and No. 22. One voter each had UNC No. 15, No. 21, No. 23 and No. 25.

Six voters, including broadcaster Debbie Antonelli, didn’t rank Carolina.

The ACC has five ranked teams, with Duke (13–1, 3–0) debuting at No. 19 after winning at N.C. State 72–58 Thursday and topping Louisville 63–56 on Sunday. The Wolfpack (12–2, 2–1) fell four spots to No. 10 after rebounding to win Sunday at Syracuse 56–54.

Notre Dame, which beat Boston College 84–48 on Sunday, moved up in the poll thanks to Indiana (a 87–63 winner on Dec. 1 over Carolina), losing at Michigan State 83–78 and beating Nebraska at home in overtime 74–62. The Hoosiers (13-1) fell two spots to No. 6.

AP Top 25

RankTeamChangePoll points
(first-place votes)
1South Carolina (13-0)700 (28)
2Stanford (14-1)672
3Ohio State (15-0)643
4Notre Dame (12-1)+1614
5UConn (11-2)+3567
6Indiana (13-1)-2540
7LSU (14-0)+2537
8Utah (14-0)+3499
9Virginia Tech (12-2)-2440
10N.C. State (12-2)-4438
11Iowa State (9-2)+4402
12UCLA (13-2)-2367
13Maryland (11-3)+3344
14Michigan (12-2)339
15Arizona (12-1)+3325
16Iowa (11-4)-4244
17Oklahoma (11-1)+3216
18Oregon (11-3)-1183
19Duke (13-1)177
20Gonzaga (14-2)-1176
21Kansas (11-1)+1144
22North Carolina (9-4)-9127
23Baylor (10-3)110
24St. John’s (13-0)+1105
25Creighton (9-4)448

Others receiving votes: Illinois 32, Florida State 29, Arkansas 24, Villanova 20, Middle Tennessee 12, Texas 9, Columbia 7, South Florida 7, Tennessee 2, Nebraska 1

UNC statistics

(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 UNC Athletics Communications


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