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AP Polls: Week of 12/21

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The Tar Heels moved up in the final regular season edition of the rankings.

NCAA Football: Military Bowl-North Carolina vs Temple Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

A long, strange college football regular season came to the end over the weekend. It ended on a good note for UNC as the results this weekend allowed the Heels to be selected for the Orange Bowl.

It also means the end of football AP Poll updates, as the next one won’t come until after the bowl games are completed. However, the basketball season is still going, so let’s check on where things stand across the sporting spectrum.

Football

AP Top 25

  1. Alabama Crimson Tide (62 first place votes)
  2. Clemson Tigers
  3. Ohio State Buckeyes
  4. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
  5. Texas A&M Aggies
  6. Cincinnati Bearcats
  7. Indiana Hoosiers
  8. Oklahoma Sooners
  9. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers
  10. Florida Gators
  11. Georgia Bulldogs
  12. Iowa State Cyclones
  13. BYU Cougars
  14. North Carolina Tar Heels
  15. Northwestern Wildcats
  16. Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns
  17. Iowa Hawkeyes
  18. Miami Hurricanes
  19. San Jose State Spartans
  20. Texas Longhorns
  21. USC Trojans
  22. Tulsa Golden Hurricane
  23. Liberty Flames
  24. NC State Wolfpack
  25. Oregon Ducks

Where is UNC?

After the dust settled from Championship Week, the Tar Heels ended up moving up two spots. The Tar Heels will finish the regular season ranked #14. That’s also where they are in the coaches’ poll, but it’s one spot below their ranking in the College Football Playoff rankings.

Biggest Winners

Mountain West champions San Jose State had the biggest jump of the weekend, moving up six spots.

Biggest Losers

After losing the Pac-12 Championship Game to non-North Division champion Oregon (what a weird year), USC fell eight spots.

Conference Breakdown

  • ACC: 5
  • American: 2
  • Big 12: 3
  • Big Ten: 4
  • Independent: 2
  • Mountain West: 1
  • Pac-12: 2
  • SEC: 4
  • Sun Belt: 2

Bowl Games to Watch

  • Cure Bowl: #23 Liberty vs. #9 Coastal Carolina - December 26th at 12 PM ET on ESPN
  • Rose Bowl: #4 Notre Dame vs. #1 Alabama - January 1st at 4 PM ET on ESPN
  • Sugar Bowl: #3 Ohio State vs. #2 Clemson - January 1st at 8 PM ET on ESPN
  • Orange Bowl: #5 Texas A&M vs. #14 North Carolina - January 2nd at 8 PM ET on ESPN

Men’s Basketball

AP Top 25

  1. Gonzaga Bulldogs (54 first place votes)
  2. Baylor Bears (7)
  3. Iowa Hawkeyes (1)
  4. Michigan State Spartans
  5. Kansas Jayhawks
  6. Houston Cougars
  7. Villanova Wildcats
  8. West Virginia Mountaineers
  9. Creighton Blue Jays
  10. Tennessee Volunteers
  11. Texas Longhorns
  12. Wisconsin Badgers
  13. Illinois Fighting Illini
  14. Texas Tech Red Raiders
  15. Florida State Seminoles
  16. Missouri Tigers
  17. Virginia Cavaliers
  18. San Diego State Aztecs
  19. Rutgers Scarlet Knights
  20. Ohio State Buckeyes
  21. Duke Blue Devils
  22. North Carolina Tar Heels
  23. Louisville Cardinals
  24. Clemson Tigers
  25. Michigan Wolverines

Where is UNC?

The Tar Heels dropped six spots in last week’s poll after their loss to Iowa. They may have bounced back somewhat after the Kentucky win, but we won’t know until a little later. We’ll update whenever we know where the Heels ended up.

Update: The Heels are up five spots to #17 in Monday’s new poll.

Biggest Winners

Missouri’s undefeated start and win over Illinois has seen them vault into the top 25 and jump in all the way at #16, an increase of 10 spots.

Biggest Losers

The flipside of Missouri’s win was Illinois’ loss. Their defeat saw them drop a week high seven spots.

Conference Breakdown

  • ACC: 6
  • American: 1
  • Big 12: 6
  • Big East: 2
  • Big Ten: 7
  • Mountain West: 1
  • SEC: 1
  • WCC: 1

Marquee Games This Week

  • #8 West Virginia at #5 Kansas - Tuesday at 9 PM ET on ESPN2
  • #12 Wisconsin at #4 Michigan State - Friday at 12:30 PM ET on FOX
  • #1 Gonzaga vs. #17 Virginia - Saturday at 4 PM ET on CBS

Women’s Basketball

AP Top 25

  1. Stanford Cardinal (26 first place votes)
  2. Louisville Cardinals (1)
  3. UConn Huskies (1)
  4. NC State Wolfpack (2)
  5. South Carolina Gamecocks
  6. Arizona Wildcats
  7. Oregon Ducks (tied with Baylor)
  8. Baylor Bears (tied with Oregon)
  9. Kentucky Wildcats
  10. Texas A&M Aggies
  11. UCLA Bruins
  12. Arkansas Razorbacks
  13. Mississippi State Bulldogs
  14. Maryland Terrapins
  15. Indiana Hoosiers
  16. Northwestern Wildcats
  17. Ohio State Buckeyes
  18. Syracuse Orange
  19. Michigan Wolverines
  20. Missouri State Bears
  21. Oregon State Beavers
  22. Texas Longhorns
  23. South Florida Bulls
  24. DePaul Blue Demons
  25. Gonzaga Bulldogs

Where is UNC?

The Tar Heels got a couple votes, but were far back of the rankings. However, last week, they crushed then #18 Syracuse and also avenged a loss to Wake Forest. As with the men’s rankings, the new edition comes out later today. We’ll update where UNC landed this week when we know.

Biggest Winners

Not a ton of big movers up, as South Florida led the week with a three spot jump.

Biggest Losers

Oregon State took a six spot drop after dropping two straight games. They’ve since lost a third consecutive, so bye bye, probably.

Conference Breakdown

  • ACC: 3
  • American: 1
  • Big 12: 2
  • Big East: 2
  • Big Ten: 5
  • Missouri Valley: 1
  • Pac-12: 5
  • SEC: 5
  • WCC: 1

Marquee Games This Week

  • #1 Stanford at #12 UCLA - Today at 3 PM ET on Pac-12 Network