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AP Top 25 Poll - Week 5: Tar Heels on the verge of cracking top 10

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Seton Hall wants you to know that they’re pretty good.

NCAA Basketball: Tulane at North Carolina Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The world of college basketball managed to produce what turned out to be a very interesting week five. There were unranked teams vs. top 25 opponents that showed the country they belong in the rankings more, and there was a top five matchup that ended in a blowout. Most importantly, UNC just may be on their way back into the top 10 sooner than later. Let’s take a look at this week’s Associated Press top 25 poll:

  1. Duke (65)
  2. Kansas
  3. Michigan State
  4. Villanova
  5. Florida
  6. Wichita State
  7. Texas A&M
  8. Kentucky
  9. Notre Dame
  10. Miami
  11. North Carolina
  12. Gonzaga
  13. Xavier
  14. Minnesota
  15. Virginia
  16. Arizona State
  17. Cincinnati
  18. West Virginia
  19. Seton Hall
  20. TCU
  21. Purdue
  22. Nevada
  23. Baylor
  24. Tennessee
  25. USC

Where is UNC?

The Tar Heels had exactly the kind of week that they needed to bounce back from the frustrating loss they suffered to Michigan State. Luke Maye returned to form, averaging over 20 points and was named the ACC Player of the Week for the second time this season. UNC came out of week five with two solid wins against Michigan and Davidson, and finished the week by demolishing Tulane in what was quite possibly their best game of the season so far.

The Heels finished the week ranked 11th in the country, which means as long as they do not have any mishaps against Western Carolina there is a chance we could see them in the top ten come this time next week. A win against the 2-6 Catamounts won’t necessarily do them any huge favors, but an upset in the top 10 would go a long way. If that doesn’t happen it’s possible we won’t see UNC move again, for better or for worse, until they travel to Knoxville and face off against Tennessee.

Biggest Losers

The year of 2017 has been rather unforgiving to Louisville basketball. The Cardinals lost their Hall of Fame coach in Rick Pitino due to an FBI investigation involving college players and Adidas, and now they are starting to feel the impact. Prior to this past week Louisville had gone against inferior competition, managing to hang onto their top 25 rank. They were finally exposed against Purdue, suffering a nine-point defeat followed by a close loss to Seton Hall. This week they were knocked out of the polls, and so a win against Indiana will go a long way to them finding their way back.

USC was another team that took a brutal hit in the top 25 rankings following a loss against unranked SMU. The Mustangs managed to shoot 50% from the field and from three against the Trojans, with junior Shake Milton leading the charge with 22 points. Next USC will face off against 5-1 Oklahoma, so we will see if they can manage to stay in the rankings another day.

Biggest Winners

Seton Hall has been out to make a name for themselves so far this season. Since their one-point loss against Rhode Island, the Pirates have been on a tear and haven’t looked back. This past week they took down 22nd ranked Texas Tech 89-79, followed by a two-point win at the Yum! Center against the 17th ranked Louisville Cardinals. Desi Rodriguez has been a huge part of their success, and it will be interesting to see if they can keep up their momentum and rise higher in the rankings. This Saturday they will face off against VCU as part of the Never Forget Tribute Classic.

Another team that is coming off of a big week is fellow Big East team Xavier. J.P. Macura helped the Musketeers take down 16th ranked Baylor 76-63 with a 19 point performance from the senior guard. If that wasn’t convincing enough, Xavier followed up the performance by taking down Cincinnati 89-76. It seems as though the Big East is rather strong this year, so it will be interesting to see if Villanova can maintain their stranglehold on the conference.

Top 25 Conference Breakdown

ACC: 5

Big 12: 4

Big Ten: 3

Big East: 3

SEC: 4

AAC: 2

Pac-12: 2

WCC: 1

Mountain West: 1