Jan 19, 2013; Chapel Hill, NC, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels guard/forward Reggie Bullock (35) reacts in the first half. The Tar Heels defeated the Terrapins 62-52 at the Dean E. Smith Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

UNC Basketball: Tar Heels Could be Just One Win Away From Return to National Rankings

North Carolina has won three straight conference games if they can make it a fourth with a win today over 18th ranked NC State on the road I think we’ll see UNC back in the Top 25 where they belong.

Let’s assume UNC defeats NC State in their house today, who’s spot could they potentially take in the top 25?  Several teams ranked this week were knocked down a bit however no team so far has lost a fifth game.

Two four loss teams were in the top 25 in this week’s rankings Ohio State and Missouri.  The Buckeyes losses have all come against ranked teams (Duke, Kansas, Illinois, Michigan State) so their resume is secure.  Missouri lost to two unranked teams (UCLA, Ole’Miss) so far this week they’ve knocked off South Carolina and face a weak Vanderbilt team today so they seem secure.   Another four loss team San Diego State is ranked #25 on the USA Today Coaches Poll (unranked on the AP Poll) faces a tough New Mexico team today.

Seven three loss teams appeared in the rankings of them Minnesota has lost three straight including a loss this week to unranked Northwestern following losses to Indiana and Michigan.  NC State has suffered a meltdown as of late losing two of their last three games to Maryland and Wake Forest following a big win over Duke.  Virginia Commonwealth suffered their fourth loss to Richmond this week.  Cincinnati suffered their fourth loss in the last eight games dropping to Richmond in OT this week.  Notre Dame lost their fourth game of the season to Georgetown this week.  Add it all up and that’s five teams that suffered their fourth loss this week Minnesota, NC State, VA Commonwealth, Cincinnati, Notre Dame and all five lost at the hands of an unranked opponent, in other words we could see a lot of turnover in the Top 25 this week.

The great thing about college basketball this season is that while many good teams exist, no elite teams have emerged, it’s anybody’s ball game come March.  A large portion of UNC fans were mentally preparing themselves for an NIT birth just a couple weeks ago with the team sitting at 10-5 and 0-2 in the conference.  I’ve preached patience all season long, we’re beginning to see this team come together and while I still think we are a ways away from seeing them reach their full potential a win today will likely mark their return to the Top 25 when the rankings are released on Monday.



Tags: North Carolina Tar Heels TOP 25

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