UNC Basketball Programs Make Jump in AP Poll After Big Victories

Both UNC Basketball programs went 2-0 last week with each picking up huge road victories and impressing the voters in this week's edition of the AP Top 25.
2023 Invesco QQQ Basketball Hall of Fame Women's Showcase - Connecticut v North Carolina
2023 Invesco QQQ Basketball Hall of Fame Women's Showcase - Connecticut v North Carolina / G Fiume/GettyImages

The UNC Women's Basketball program entered the week feeling disrespected by the Associated Press Voters. Following two of their biggest wins of the season versus Oklahoma and Clemson and putting a string of three consecutive victories together, the Tar Heels were dropped out of the most recent AP Top 25 last week.

North Carolina took notice that the country wasn't respecting them and had the opportunity to make a statement with two top-25 opponents on the schedule last week, No. 25 Syracuse and No. 16 Notre Dame. The Tar Heels ran the Orange out of Chapel Hill with a 75-51 victory in which Alyssa Ustby became the first-ever UNC Women's Basketball player with a triple-double and the first-ever NCAA Women's College basketball player to record 15 points, 15 rebounds, and ten assists versus a ranked opponent.

The Tar Heels followed that impressive performance with a defensive performance on the road that limited Notre Dame to just 31.1% from the field and held the Irish to 30 points below their scoring average of 87 points per game in a 61-57 road victory to move to 3-0 in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The voters took notice...

The Tar Heels have another top-25 matchup awaiting this week with a visit to Tallahassee to face No. 21-ranked Florida State on Thursday before returning home next Sunday versus Virginia.

On the men's side, the No. 8-ranked UNC Basketball team began 2024 with back-to-back Atlantic Coast Conference road games in hostile environments, with both games qualifying as quad-one wins for the time being.

Both games were fueled by defense and rebounding as the Tar Heels outrebounded the conference's No. 1 and No. 2 ranked teams in rebounding en route to a 70-57 victory over the Panthers and a 65-55 win at No. 16-ranked Clemson last week.

Those two performances and a loss by No. 7 Marquette moved North Carolina closer to the top five and gave Hubert Davis his highest ranking this late in the season as a head coach and the highest ranking since the Tar Heels were pre-season No. 1 for the first three weeks of the 2022-2023 season.

The No. 7 Tar Heels will complete the three-game road stretch to begin 2024 with a trip to Raleigh on Wednesday night to face NC State, who received seven votes in this week's poll, at 8:00 PM.

The UNC Basketball programs are the only school to begin ACC Play with a 3-0 record this season, and it is the first time both programs have started conference play 3-0 since 2008. Both teams were No. 1 seeds in the NCAA Tournament, with the women being knocked out in the Elite Eight while the men made a Final Four appearance.

Next. UNC Basketball: ACC Men's Basketball rankings for the week of January 8. UNC Basketball: ACC Men's Basketball rankings for the week of January 8. dark

Follow us @KeepingItHeel on X (formerly Twitter) and like our fan page on Facebook for continued coverage of UNC basketball news, views, and updates.