It goes without saying that this season hasn’t started off how anybody thought it would for the Tar Heels. After starting the season as the best team of the country, the Heels fell out of the AP top 25 altogether, which led to a lot of rumblings about how they were ranked too high all along. Things are turning around, however, and after wins over Ohio State and Michigan, the Heels are now ranked 25th in the AP poll.
While we all know and understand what happened with media voters, what we haven’t discussed yet this season is the NCAA NET rankings. While the AP poll still gives the country an idea of who the best teams in the country are, the NET ranking is truly what will matter the most when March rolls around and it’s time for the NCAA Tournament committee to pick the field of 68. As of right now, the Tar Heels are ranked 24 in the NET rankings, which is just one spot lower than their previous ranking. Here are the details of how the Heels got there:
Overall Record: 9-4
Road Record: 0-2
Neutral Court Record: 3-2
Home Record: 6-0
Quad 1 Record: 1-4
Quad 2 Record: 4-0:
Quad 3 Record: 2-0
Quad 4 Record: 2-0
As you can see, the Heels have a Quad 1 win so far thanks to their win against Ohio State in the CBS Sports Classic. They will have another opportunity to get another Q1 win against Pitt this Friday since it will be a road game against a top 75 team. It is worth noting, however, that Pitt is currently ranked 70th in NET, so Heels fans would have to cheer for the Panthers pretty hard to do well the rest of the season if UNC pulled off a victory.
Ultimately, it is still really early in the season and the NET rankings will be extremely fluid for a while. It’s great seeing that the Heels are in good shape to make the NCAA Tournament as of right now, but there is still a lot of times for teams to slip in the rankings, rise in the rankings, etc. All the Heels can do is keep winning, which is exactly what they did against Michigan last Wednesday. Tanya Anderson, Julius Emanuel, and I had a very good discussion about the win over Michigan on our latest episode of the What in Tar Nation podcast, which you can listen to by clicking one of the links below.
As we flip to the new calendar year this weekend, things will start heating up for the Heels — they will face off against Wake Forest and Notre Dame before they travel to Charlottesville to take on the #13 Virginia Cavaliers. The two games against the Hoos may end up being critical to the Heels’ chances of maintaining good standing in the NET rankings, so they will have to be ready to fight against yet another tough Tony Bennett-led team.
What do you think about UNC’s current standings in the NET rankings? Let us know in the comments below.