UNC Basketball Makes Big Jump in NET Rankings Following Road ACC Win

The UNC Basketball program continues to add to its NCAA Tournament Resume by picking up quadrant one wins and moving up in the NET Rankings.
Charleston Southern v North Carolina
Charleston Southern v North Carolina / Ryan Hunt/GettyImages

Ah. The haunted NET Rankings. It is one of several metrics that kept the UNC Basketball program out of the 2023 NCAA Tournament due to their lack of "quality wins" with only two quadrant one wins throughout the entirety of the 2022-2023 college basketball season.

Just after the 2024 New Year has begun, though, the Tar Heels are already in a much better position for the 2023-2024 postseason than they were just a year ago. Following a 13-point, 70-57 road victory at Pittsburgh, North Carolina made a huge jump in the NET Rankings (which are updated daily).

Pittsburgh, despite a 9-5 overall record and being 0-4 against quadrant one and quadrant two opponents, is 49th in the NET rankings, classifying them as a quad one victory for the Tar Heels. In case you need a refresher on the quadrants and how the (very confusing) NET system works, click here.

Another reminder is that the margin of victory also plays an important role in calculating NET, which is why winning a game by double-digits is even more important than just "securing the win." While the Panthers could very well fall out of the top 75 needed to be considered a quad-one win by the end of the season, right now, it was a crucial win for the Tar Heels.

The UNC Basketball program is now 3-3 in quad-one games this season. Only Arizona, at 4-2, has a better record against quad-one opponents with at least six games played. The Tar Heels will continue to have their opportunities, though, especially over the next week, with two more challenges coming on the road.

Clemson, ranked 10th in the NET, is almost guaranteed to be a quad one opportunity throughout the season, and the Tar Heels will travel to Littlejohn this Saturday, January 6th, looking for another resume-building victory and also early control of the ACC.

Following the matchup with the Tigers, a trip to Raleigh to face rival NC State also looks to provide a borderline quad-one opportunity. The Wolfpack are ranked 68th in NET currently and could flirt with the top-75 ranking all season in order to be considered a quad-one game. Obviously, a win over a rival is sweet, but make it a quad-one, and it's even that much sweeter to add to the resume.

Regardless, the Tar Heels have a significant chance to put the college basketball world on notice over the next seven days and a chance to not only earn two road ACC wins but two quality wins that could boost their NET ranking and help their NCAA Tournament resume, something they were unable to do just a season ago.

Keeping It Heel will continue to follow the NET and how it factors into the UNC Basketball team's resume as we move throughout the conference schedule with significant changes happening.

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