UNC moves up in Top 25 women’s poll after two big wins

By R.L. Bynum

North Carolina jumped up five spots to No. 17 in the latest AP Top 25 women’s poll after two ACC victories last week.

The Tar Heels (12–5, 3–3 ACC) rallied to win 70–59 at Virginia on Thursday with a game-ending 22–2 run and earned surged in the fourth quarter for a 56–47 victory Sunday at home against N.C. State.

The Wolfpack (13–5, 3–4), which also lost 91–72 at Florida State last week, fell nine spots to No. 20.

Carolina’s rise was the highest from last week’s poll and State’s drop was the largest.

ACC leader Duke (16–1, 6–0), which visits Carmichael Arena at 8 p.m. Thursday (ACC Network), moved up three spots to No. 13 after beating Clemson 66–56 and last-placed Georgia Tech 65–47.

Carolina is tied for the most games against ranked teams in the country and tied for the most wins against ranked teams with four, the most since the 2014–15 team won six.

The Tar Heels defeated Oregon 85–79 (No. 18 at the time of the game), Iowa State 73–64 (No. 5), Notre Dame 60–50 (No. 4) and N.C. State (No. 11). The first two and the last two were in consecutive games against ranked teams, marking the first time UNC has won back-to-back games against ranked teams multiple times since the 2013–14 season.

Duke has played only two ranked teams, losing to UConn (No. 3 at the time of the meeting) 78–50 and beating N.C. State (No. 6) 72–58. In addition to UNC, State has only played two other ranked teams, losing to UConn (No. 5 at the time of the meeting) 91–89 and beating Iowa (No. 10) 94–81.


UNC is No. 20 in the NET rankings, a metric the NCAA tournament committee uses, with wins against four teams ahead of them: Iowa State (NET ranking of 14), N.C. State (13), Oregon (12) and Notre Dame (6). Carolina is No. 16 in the Massey Rating.

Other ranked ACC teams are No. 7 Notre Dame (14–2, 5–1), unchanged, and No. 12 Virginia Tech (14–3, 4–3), up one spot.

Six other teams ahead of Carolina in last week’s poll lost: Stanford (fell from No. 2 to No. 4 after a 55–46 loss to Southern Cal), UCLA (went from No. 8 to No. 9 after a 72–59 loss to Stanford), Maryland (moved from No. 9 to No. 11 after a 68–61 loss to Indiana), Arizona (fell from No. 14 to No. 19 after losing to Colorado 72–65 and Utah 80–79), Baylor (which fell from No. 18 to unranked for the first time since 2004 after it lost to Oklahoma State 70–65 and West Virginia 74–65) and Oregon (which fell from No. 21 to No. 23 after losing 85–84 in overtime to Washington State).

Ranking UNC the highest at No. 8 was Mitchell Northam of WUNC, the only North Carolina-based voter. He had N.C. State No. 17 and Duke No. 19.

Four voters have UNC No. 15, five have it No. 16, four No. 17, five No. 18, five No. 19, with one No. 21 and one No. 23.

Ranking Carolina the lowest at No. 25 was Danny Davis of the Austin American Statesman, who curiously dropped the Tar Heels three spots from where he had them last week.

AP Top 25

RankTeamChangePoll points
(first-place votes)
1South Carolina (18-0)700 (28)
2Ohio State (18-0)+1670
3LSU (18-0)+2604
4Stanford (17-2)-2601
5UConn (15-2)-1600
6Indiana (16-1)586
7Notre Dame (14-2)546
8Utah (15-1)+2477
9UCLA (15-3)-1428
10Iowa (14-4)+2414
11Maryland (14-4)-2413
12Virginia Tech (14-3)+1391
13Duke (16-1)+3361
14Michigan (15-3)3341
15Oklahoma (14-2)+4304
16Gonzaga (17-2)+4249
17North Carolina (12-5)+5237
18Iowa State (11-4)-3205
19Arizona (14-4)-5185
20N.C. State (13-5)-9139
21Illinois (15-3)+3120
22Villanova (16-3)+394
23Oregon (13-5)-275
24Colorado (14-3)65
25Texas (13-5)62

Others receiving votes: Baylor 51, Middle Tennessee 39, Arkansas 34, South Florida 24, Miami (FL) 23, Florida State 23, Tennessee 19, USC 7, Louisville 4, Creighton 4, Kansas 3, West Virginia 2.

No. 9 Duke10–220–3
No. 10 Notre Dame9–318–4
No. 19 Florida State9–320–5
No. 11 Virginia Tech9–419–4
No. 14 North Carolina8–417–6
No. 22 N.C. State6–616–7
Wake Forest5–814–10
Boston College4–914–12
Georgia Tech3–912–11

Monday’s result
No. 11 Virginia Tech 73, No. 22 N.C. State 61
Thursday’s games
Pittsburgh at No. 10 Notre Dame, 6 p.m., ACCN
No. 19 Florida State at Miami, 6 p.m., RSNs
No. 14 North Carolina at Syracuse, 7 p.m., ESPN3
No. 9 Duke at Boston College, 7 p.m., ESPN3
Louisville at Virginia, 7 p.m., ESPN3
No. 22 N.C. State at Wake Forest, 8 p.m., ACCN
Georgia Tech at Clemson, 8 p.m., RSNs
Sunday’s games
Boston College at No. 14 North Carolina, noon, ACCN
No. 22 N.C. State at Virginia, noon, RSNs
Miami at No. 9 Duke, 2 p.m., RSNs
Pittsburgh at Georgia Tech, 2 p.m., ESPN3
Clemson at Louisville, 2 p.m., ESPN3
Florida State at No. 11 Virginia Tech, 2 p.m., ACCN
Syracuse at No. 10 Notre Dame, 4 p.m., ACCN

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. 21 Iowa State Portland6–0
DecemberACC/Big Ten Challenge
1ThursdayL, 87–63No. 2IndianaBloomington, Ind.6–1
7WednesdayW, 64–42UNCWHome7–1
11SundayW, 99–67WoffordHome8–1
16FridayW, 89–47USC UpstateHome9–1
Jumpman Invitational
20TuesdayL, 76–68No. 12 MichiganCharlotte9–2
ACC season begins
29ThursdayL, 78–71No. 19
Florida State
Home9–3, 0–1 ACC
1SundayL, 68–65No. 11
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, 56–47No. 22 N.C. StateHome12–5,
3–3 ACC
19ThursdayW, 61–56No. 9 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
9Thursday7 p.m.SyracuseSyracuseACCNX (ESPN3)
12SundayNoonBoston CollegeHomeACCNX (ESPN3)
16Thursday8 p.m.No. 22 N.C. StateRaleighACCN
19Sunday4 p.m.Wake ForestHomeACCN
23Thursday8 p.m.No. 11
Virginia Tech
26SundayNoonNo. 9 DukeDurhamRSNs
ACC Tournament
1–5Wednesday–SundayTBATBAGreensboroACCN Wed.-Sat.; final on ESPN or ESPN2
You can buy tickets to home games here. ACCN means the game airs on ACC Network. ACCNX means that the game is only streaming on ACC Network Extra (ESPN3.) RSNs means the game airs on regional sports networks (in many cases, Bally Sports but also MASN, NESN and Yes Network.)

Photo courtesy of UNC Athletics Communications

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