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AP Top 25 Poll: They still do these after Selection Sunday

The Tar Heels jump back into the top 10 heading into March Madness.

ACC Basketball Tournament - Championship Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Without much change at the top, the regular season’s final top 25 is upon us. This week, we’ll compare it to each team’s seed in the NCAA Tournament (spoiler alert: they’re roughly in line!)

  1. Virginia Cavaliers (LW: 1, NCAAT: 1 overall)
  2. Villanova Wildcast (LW:2, NCAAT: 1)
  3. Xavier Musketeers (LW: 3, NCAAT: 1)
  4. Kansas Jayhawks (LW: 9, NCAAT: 1) — turns out winning your conference, sham though the Big XII is, is worthy of a jump to justify a tournament seeding.
  5. Michigan State Spartans (LW: 5, NCAAT: 3)
  6. Cincinnati Bearcats (LW: 8, NCAAT: 2)
  7. Michigan Wolverines (LW: 7, NCAAT: 3)
  8. Gonzaga Bulldogs (LW: 6, NCAAT: 4)
  9. Duke Blue Devils (LW: 5, NCAAT: 2)
  10. North Carolina Tar Heels (LW: 12, NCAAT: 2)
  11. Purdue Boilermakers (LW: 10, NCAAT: 2)
  12. Arizona Wildcats (LW: 15, NCAAT: 4)
  13. Tennessee Volunteers (LW: 13, NCAAT: 3)
  14. Texas Tech Red Raiders (LW: 14, NCAAT: 3)
  15. West Virginia Mountaineers (LW: 18, NCAAT: 5)— the most criminal underseeding to this point.
  16. Wichita State Shockers (LW: 11, NCAAT: 4)— speaking of West Virginia, here is their potential second-round matchup.
  17. Ohio State Buckeyes (LW: 17, NCAAT: 5)
  18. Kentucky Wildcats (LW: NR, NCAAT: 5)— the SEC tournament champions are peaking at the right time, and made the biggest jump in this week’s poll.
  19. Auburn Tigers (LW: 16, NCAAT: 4)
  20. Clemson Tigers (LW: 19, NCAAT: 5)
  21. Houston Cougars (LW: 21, NCAAT: 6)
  22. Miami Hurricanes (LW: 24, NCAAT: 6)
  23. Florida Gators (LW: 23, NCAAT: 6)
  24. Nevada Wolf Pack (LW: 22, NCAAT: 7)
  25. St. Mary’s Gaels (LW: 20, NCAAT: oops)— the most glaring omission from the NCAA Tournament field, in a year where there were a good 5 or 6 spots up for debate.

Where is UNC?

The Heels bounced back into the top-10 with a 3-1 effort in the ACC Tournament— three impressive wins over tournament teams in Syracuse, Miami, and Duke will do that. They weren’t penalized much for the loss to unanimous #1 Virginia, though many will argue a top seed was in play for Carolina with a win.

Biggest Risers

Kentucky made the leap from the outside looking in to #18, and are going to be a tough out in the NCAAT.

With the strength of an easy Big XII Tournament, Kansas rose five spots— from #9 to #4.

West Virginia and Arizona rose three spots each, to #15 and #12, respectively. Arizona has seen its stock skyrocket in the past two weeks, as they were the high-riser last week. At this point, they can only blame a horrendous Pac-12 for their 4-seed (and potential first-weekend matchup with Kentucky).

Biggest Fallers

Wichita State took a dive from #11 to #16 after a 77-74 loss to Houston in the AAC Tournament.

Despite not playing this week, St. Mary’s took a 5-spot drop— and more importantly, was snubbed from the NCAA Tournament. Overall, it was a bad week to not play. Michigan State, Gonzaga, and Purdue all fell without playing basketball.

Top Games this Week

Here are the potential ranked-vs.-ranked games for the second round of the NCAAT, if you’re trying to schedule your Saturday/Sunday viewing appointments:

#12 Arizona vs. #18 Kentucky— definitely the ‘made-for-TV’ matchup of the weekend.
#13 Tennessee vs. #22 Miami
#24 Nevada vs. #6 Cincinnati

#15 West Virginia vs. #16 Wichita State
#14 Texas Tech vs. #23 Florida

#8 Gonzaga vs. #17 Ohio State
#7 Michigan vs. #21 Houston
(FWIW, Providence’s hot finish led them to #30 in the polls, and could be a tricky #10-seed matchup for UNC)

#19 Auburn vs. #20 Clemson
...that’s it. The Duke bracket only boast five ranked teams. Get your pitchforks out now, y’all.