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AP Poll: Week of 3/9

It’s almost that time!

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

We are now fully into March and just about a week away from getting fully into the NCAA Tournament swing. It’s a wonderful time of the year.

The North Carolina men’s team ended the regular season on a high with their dominant win over Duke. They still have some business to take care of in the ACC Tournament, but it seems as if the Heels are safely in.

As for the women, they’re going to have a long wait until Monday night for their selection show after losing to Wake Forest in the ACC Tournament. Signs point to them maybe also being safely in, but it’s going to be nerve wracking.

As we continue the march towards the madness, let’s check in on the Top 25s for this week.

Men’s Basketball

AP Top 25

  1. Gonzaga Bulldogs (61 first place votes)
  2. Baylor Bears (2)
  3. Illinois Fighting Illini
  4. Michigan Wolverines
  5. Iowa Hawkeyes
  6. Alabama Crimson Tide
  7. Houston Cougars
  8. Arkansas Razorbacks
  9. Ohio State Buckeyes
  10. West Virginia Mountaineers
  11. Kansas Jayhawks
  12. Oklahoma State Cowboys
  13. Texas Longhorns
  14. Villanova Wildcats
  15. Florida State Seminoles
  16. Virginia Cavaliers
  17. Creighton Blue Jays
  18. Loyola Chicago Ramblers
  19. San Diego State Aztecs
  20. Texas Tech Red Raiders
  21. Purdue Boilermakers (tied with Texas Tech)
  22. Virginia Tech Hokies
  23. Colorado Buffaloes
  24. USC Trojans
  25. Oklahoma Sooners

Where is UNC?

After splitting last week’s games, the Tar Heels fell from the “Others Receiving Votes.” That’s somewhat surprising after the complete beatdown of Duke, but also not considering the recent losses to Marquette and Syracuse.

Biggest Winners

Oklahoma State and Virginia gained the most spots, each moving up five spot, but the biggest winner is arguably Illinois. After beating Michigan without star Ayo Dosunmu, Illinois cracked the top three and are great position to get a #1 seed this Sunday.

Biggest Losers

The biggest drop of the week belongs to Oklahoma, who dropped a massive nine spots. The Sooners are now on a four-game losing streak, after having been in the top ten as recently as two weeks ago.

Conference Breakdown

Marquee Matchups This Week

We’ve reached conference tournament week for the men. We don’t know exactly marquee matchups we’ll get this week, so here’s a look at some of the most important conference tournaments and which may produce the most important matchups this week

  • ACC: March 9-13, Championship Game: Saturday at 8:30 PM ET on ESPN

There are several ACC teams right around the bubble as they head to Greensboro. North Carolina and Georgia Tech are seemingly on the right side of things now, but they don’t have much room for error. On the other hand, Syracuse might be able to play itself into the field with a some wins. As for Duke, at this point, they probably need to win the whole thing to get into the NCAA Tournament.

  • Big 12: March 10-13, Championship Game: Saturday at 5 PM ET on ESPN

Not many bubble implications, but the Big 12 Tournament will be a battle between seven ranked teams. Baylor is almost certainly locked into their #1 seed, but any of the other six can probably give themselves a big boost by winning it.

  • Mountain West: March 10-13, Championship Game: Saturday at 3 PM ET on CBS

According to the Bracket Matrix composite, two of the last four teams in, Colorado State and Boise State, are Mountain West teams. Meanwhile, Utah State is one of the first four out. Safe to say, there will be a lot to play for those teams this week.

Women’s Basketball

AP Top 25

  1. UConn Huskies (22 first place votes)
  2. Stanford Cardinal (5)
  3. NC State Wolfpack (2)
  4. Texas A&M Aggies
  5. South Carolina Gamecocks
  6. Baylor Bears
  7. Maryland Terrapins
  8. Louisville Cardinals (tied with Maryland)
  9. Indiana Hoosiers
  10. UCLA Bruins
  11. Arizona Wildcats
  12. Georgia Bulldogs
  13. Michigan Wolverines
  14. Tennessee Volunteers
  15. Arkansas Razorbacks
  16. Gonzaga Bulldogs
  17. West Virginia Mountaineers
  18. Kentucky Wildcats
  19. Rutgers Scarlet Knights
  20. South Florida Bulls
  21. Missouri State Bears
  22. Ohio State Buckeyes
  23. Oregon Ducks
  24. Florida Gulf Coast Eagles
  25. South Dakota State Jackrabbits

Where is UNC?

After dropping their first ACC Tournament game, the Heels did not get any votes. It’s going to be a long wait to find out if they’re in the NCAAT.

Biggest Winners

Rutgers had the biggest jump of the week, moving up nine spots after they extended their win streak to nine.

Biggest Losers

On the other hand, South Florida dropped five spots after losing two of three to unranked teams to end the regular season.

Conference Breakdown

  • AAC: 1
  • ACC: 2
  • Atlantic Sun: 1
  • Big 12: 2
  • Big East: 1
  • Big Ten: 5
  • Missouri Valley: 1
  • Pac-12: 4
  • SEC: 6
  • Summit League: 1
  • WCC: 1

Marquee Matchups This Week

Most of the major women’s conference tournaments happened last week. Instead let’s focus on some of the smaller conferences ones, the leagues where UNC need the favorite to win to prevent any bid stealing.

  • Summit League: Championship Game, Today at 1 PM ET on ESPNU

Top seeded South Dakota State have already been upset. Both they and #2 seed South Dakota are currently in according to ESPN’s WBB Bracketology, but there could be some issues if the Coyotes are upset today.

  • Atlantic Sun: Championship Game, Sunday at 2 PM ET on ESPN+

Florida Gulf Coast are the clear #1 seed, having gone through conference play undefeated. However, if they get tripped up, it could lead to some bid theft as FGCU are seemingly in no matter what.

  • Missouri Valley, Championship Game, Sunday at 2 PM ET on ESPN+

It’s a similar story in the MVC, as Missouri State are listed as a #5 seed in the NCAAT according to ESPN’s WBB Bracketology. Whiley they went 20-2, the next best record in the league was Illinois State at 15-6. It would be helpful for the Heels if MSU didn’t mess around and just won the bid.