UNC Women's Basketball named ESPN's Team of the Week

After winning two games against top-25 teams, the UNC women's basketball program was named ESPN's Team of the Week.

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
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What a week it was for Courtney Banghart and the UNC women's basketball program!

After surprisingly falling out of the AP Top 25, the Tar Heels proved they belonged among the nation's best. They picked up wins against No. 25 Syracuse and No. 16 Notre Dame, as they proved their case to jump right back into the rankings just a week after falling out of them.

To add to being a top 25 squad once again, the UNC women's basketball program was also named ESPN's team of the week.

Here's what ESPN's Alexa Philippou had to say regarding the Tar Heels:

The Tar Heels have shown they can compete with some of the best teams in the country, but they haven't always translated that into wins. Things haven't been going their way healthwise, either, with several rotation players dealing with an array of injuries that have left North Carolina short-handed (as recently as this week, Kayla McPherson was ruled out for the season). The Tar Heels even dropped out of the AP poll last week for the first time this season despite having defeated Clemson.

But one team beat two ranked squads this week: North Carolina. The Tar Heels picked up their first ranked win of the season with a 75-51 statement against No. 25 Syracuse and then beat No. 16 Notre Dame 61-57 for UNC's first win in South Bend. Alyssa Ustby was the star against the Orange, recording the program's first triple-double (16 points, 16 rebounds, 10 assists), and Stanford transfer Indya Nivar had her best game of the season Sunday with 10 fourth-quarter points against the Irish.

This team can be dangerous the more its players -- Nivar and fellow transfers Lexi Donarski (Iowa State) and Maria Gakdeng (Boston College) -- mesh together and if it can find more consistent offensive firepower. Taking down another ranked opponent in Florida State in Tallahassee on Thursday would show the country that North Carolina is putting it together.

You have to be impressed with how the Tar Heels have played, especially of late, as they've been a very strong defensive unit. Although the shots haven't fallen like they've hoped they would (especially from three-point range along with the free throw line) the UNC women's basketball program is finding ways to win games, as they hope that trend can continue over the next few weeks of conference play.

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