Streaking Heels jump up again in AP women’s poll

By R.L. Bynum

Carolina jumped four spots to No. 11 in the AP Top 25 women’s basketball poll, thanks to a pair of road victories that extended the Tar Heels’ ACC win streak to seven games and losses by six teams ahead of them in last week’s poll.

The Tar Heels (16–5, 7–3 ACC) try to keep the momentum going on Thursday at 6 o’clock (regional sports networks), when they return home to face Virginia (14–8, 3–8), which they beat 70–59 in Charlottesville, Va., on Jan. 12.

On Sunday, freshman Paulina Paris (top photo) produced season-highs of 22 points, six 3-pointers and five steals in Carolina’s 69–58 win at Clemson.

During UNC’s seven-game win streak, its longest regular-season ACC streak since winning 17 straight from Jan. 5, 2007, until Jan. 16, 2009, it has kept rising in the poll after being ranked a season-low No. 22 on Jan. 2 and Jan. 9. The Tar Heels rose as high as No. 6 on Nov. 3 and Dec. 19.

UNC is only a game behind conference leaders Duke (18–3, 8–2) and Notre Dame (17–3, 8–2) — two teams the Heels beat earlier this season — in the ACC standings.

The Blue Devils stayed at No. 16 after beating Virginia Tech on Thursday 66–55 but getting blown out Sunday at Florida State 70–57. The Irish slipped two spots to No. 9 after blowing out the Seminoles 70–47 but losing Sunday at N.C. State 69–65.

That was the only game last week for the Wolfpack (16–5, 6–4), which moved up five spots to No. 15.


After losing to the Irish and beating the Blue Devils, Florida State (19–5, 8–3) moved up one spot to No. 23. Virginia Tech, which rebounded from its loss to Duke by beating Virginia 72–60 on Sunday, fell one spot to No. 13.

The Hokies (17–4, 7–4) were one of three teams directly ahead of Carolina in last week’s poll (when it was No. 15) to lose. Oklahoma (16–4) fell from No. 14 to No. 20 after losing to Texas 78–58 and Iowa State 86–78. Michigan (17–5) dropped from No. 13 to No. 18 after losing to Indiana 92–83 and Maryland 72–64.

In addition, UCLA dropped from No. 8 to No. 14 after losses to Colorado (73–70 in overtime) and Utah (71–69).

Ohio State (19–3) suffered the biggest drop of the top 10 teams in last week’s poll, going from No. 2 to No. 10 after losing to Iowa 83–72, Indiana 78–65 and Purdue 73–65 for its first losses of the season.

Ranking Carolina the highest again was WUNC’s Mitchell Northam, the only North Carolina-based voter. He voted the Tar Heels No. 6, one of six voters who had the Tar Heels in the top 10.

M.A. Voepel of ESPN had UNC No. 8. Ben Pickman of The Athletic, Carl Ademec of the Journal Inquirer in Manchester, Conn., and Stefan Krajisnik of the Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Miss., voted the Heels No. 9. Broadcaster Debbie Antonelli had them No. 10.

Voting UNC the lowest at No. 16 were Cora Hall of the Knoxville News Sentinel, Danny Davis of the Austin American-Statesman and Lindsay Schnell of USA Today.

Carolina’s NET ranking of 17th is the fifth-highest in the ACC behind Notre Dame (6th), Duke (8th), N.C. State (13th) and Florida State (15th). The Tar Heels have the fourth-highest Massey Rating among ACC teams at 13th, behind Notre Dame (6th), N.C. State (10th) and Duke (12th).

AP Top 25

RankTeamChangePoll points
(1st-place votes)
1South Carolina (21–0)700 (28)
2Stanford (21–2)+1635
3LSU (20–0)+1628
4Indiana (20–1)+2627
5UConn (20–2)623
6Iowa (17–4)+4522
7Utah (18–2)+2520
8Maryland (17–4)+2492
9Notre Dame (17–3)-2480
10Ohio State (19–3)-8443
11North Carolina (16–5)+4399
12Iowa State (15–4)+6345
13Virginia Tech (17–4)-1317
14UCLA (17–5)-6310
15N.C. State (16–5)+5291
16Duke (18–3)279
17Gonzaga (21–2)270
18Michigan (17–5)-5266
19Villanova (18–4)+2171
20Oklahoma (16–4)-6151
21Middle Tennessee (18–2)+2119
22Arizona (16–5)-3114
23Florida State (19–5)+1113
24Texas (16–6)94
25South Florida (20–4)52

Others receiving votes: Illinois 45, Colorado 40, USC 17, Tennessee 13, Purdue 12, UNLV 9, Baylor 1, Columbia 1, Oregon 1.

UNC statistics

No. 10 Notre Dame15–324–4
No. 11 Duke14–424–5
No. 9 Virginia Tech14–424–4
No. 23 Florida State12–623–8
No. 22 North Carolina11–720–9
N.C. State9–919–10
Boston College5–1315–16
Wake Forest5–1314–15
Georgia Tech4–1413–16

Thursday’s results
No. 9 Virginia Tech 61, No. 22 North Carolina 59
No. 10 Notre Dame 76, Georgia Tech 53
No. 23 Florida State 61, Wake Forest 60
Syracuse 85, Pittsburgh 55
Louisville 71, Miami 50
Clemson 79, Virginia 69
No. 11 Duke 77, N.C. State 62
Sunday’s results
No. 22 North Carolina 45, No. 11 Duke 41
No. 10 Notre Dame 68, Louisville, noon, ESPN3
Miami 84, Virginia 75
Boston College 73, Wake Forest 63
Clemson 74, No. 23 Florida State 61
N.C. State 68, Pittsburgh at 63
No. 9 Virginia Tech 65, Georgia Tech 52
End of regular season

(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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