UNC moves up again in Top 25 women’s poll after 5th win in row

By R.L. Bynum

After extending its win streak to five, North Carolina moved up two spots to No. 15 in the latest AP Top 25 women’s poll.

The Tar Heels (14–5, 5–3 ACC) earned a second consecutive win over a ranked team by knocking off then-No. 13 Duke 61–56 on Thursday, then coasted by Georgia Tech 70–57 on Sunday. They have three wins over teams ranked in the top 13 during the current streak.

Carolina is ranked 15th or higher for the eighth time this season, the most since doing it 16 times in the 2014–15 season when the Tar Heels finished 26–9. UNC’s streak of being ranked 17 consecutive weeks going back to last season is the longest since being ranked 58 straight weeks from Nov. 19 of the 2012–13 season until the 2015–16 preseason poll.

The Tar Heels peaked at No. 6 on Nov. 28 and Dec. 19 and have never been lower than No. 22, where they were ranked on Jan. 2 and Jan. 9.

UNC has earned an NCAA-high five wins over ranked teams, beating Oregon (Nov. 24, No. 18 at the time of the game, now unranked), Iowa State (Nov. 27, No. 5, currently No. 18), Notre Dame (Jan. 8, No. 4, currently No. 7), N.C. State (Jan. 15, No. 11, currently No. 20) and Duke (Thursday, No. 13, currently No. 16).

The Blue Devils (17–2, 7–1) fell three spots after rebounding Sunday with a 62–50 home win over Syracuse. N.C. State (15–5, 5–4) remained at No. 20 after beating Miami 71–61 and Louisville 63–51.

Other ranked ACC teams are No. 7 Notre Dame (16–2, 7–1), No. 12 Virginia Tech (16–3, 6–3) and No. 24 Florida State (18–4, 7–2). It was the first time in the poll for the Seminoles since 2021, and rankings for the Irish and Hokies didn’t change.


The only team ahead of Carolina in last week’s Top 25 to lose other than Duke was Utah, which fell one spot to No. 9 after losing 74–62 to No. 4 Stanford but beating California 87–62. UNC’s impressive wins were enough to leapfrog Gonzaga, which fell one spot to No. 17 despite winning its two games last week (81–78 against Pacific and 82–57 over St. Mary’s).

The poll was the first in 47 years that didn’t include a team from Texas. Texas was No. 25 last week but fell out of the poll after a 68–64 loss to Texas Tech.

Oregon was No. 23 but fell out of the poll after losing to Oregon State 68–65.

Ranking Carolina the highest at No. 7 was WUNC’s Mitchell Northam, the only North Carolina-based voter. Voting the Heels the lowest for the second consecutive week, this time at No. 22, was Danny Davis of the Austin American-Statesman.

Other spots for UNC on ballots were No. 13 (3 voters), No. 14 (5), No. 15 (7), No. 16 (4), No. 17 (3) and No. 18 (4).

UNC is No. 19 in the NET rankings and No. 16 in the Massey Ratings.

The Tar Heels visit Pittsburgh (7–12, 0–8) at 6 p.m. Thursday (ESPN3) and are at Clemson (13–8, 4–5) at 4 p.m. Sunday (ACC Network).

AP Top 25

RankTeamChangePoll points (1st-place votes)
1South Carolina (20–0)700 (28)
2Ohio State (19–0)669
3Stanford (19–2)+1615
4LSU (19–0)-1603
5UConn (17–2)596
6Indiana (17–1)584
7Notre Dame (16–2)541
8UCLA (17–3)+1448
9Utah (16–2)-1430
10Iowa (15–4)425
10Maryland (16–4)+1425
12Virginia Tech (16–3)403
13Michigan (16–3)+1352
14Oklahoma (16–2)+1304
15North Carolina (14–5)+2298
16Duke (17–2)-3281
17Gonzaga (19–2)-1259
18Iowa State (13–4)221
19Arizona (15–4)201
20North Carolina State (15–5)171
21Villanova (18–3)+1145
22Illinois (16–4)-1103
23Middle Tennessee (16–2)64
24Florida State (18–4)57
25Colorado (15–4)-156

Others receiving votes: Tennessee 47, Texas 35, South Florida 31, USC 22, Oregon 10, Arkansas 2, UNLV 1, Alabama 1

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

(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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