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Top 25: Week of 3/7

The Tar Heel men are back in the rankings after the win over Duke.

North Carolina v Duke Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Exactly one week from today, we will know the fields for this year’s NCAA Basketball Tournaments. However, that also means that this week will be quite the exciting one too. This week, we’ll get plenty of all-day action with the various conference tournaments, giving us an appetizer before the main course of the NCAA Tournaments.

However before all that kicks off, last week was a pretty big one too. There was a certain result in Cameron Indoor Stadium that you may have heard about, that has caused a big of a shake up in the AP Top 25 rankings.

Men’s Basketball

AP Top 25

  1. Gonzaga Bulldogs (52 first place votes)
  2. Arizona Wildcats (6)
  3. Baylor Bears (3)
  4. Auburn Tigers
  5. Kentucky Wildcats
  6. Kansas Jayhawks
  7. Duke Blue Devils
  8. Villanova Wildcats
  9. Tennessee Volunteers
  10. Purdue Boilermakers (tied for #9)
  11. Providence Friars
  12. Wisconsin Badgers
  13. UCLA Bruins
  14. Texas Tech Red Raiders
  15. Arkansas Razorbacks
  16. Illinois Fighting Illini
  17. St. Mary’s Gaels
  18. Houston Cougars
  19. Murray State Racers
  20. UConn Huskies
  21. USC Trojans
  22. Texas Longhorns
  23. Colorado State Rams
  24. Iowa Hawkeyes
  25. North Carolina Tar Heels

Where is UNC?

Well, well, well, what do we have here? After the win over Duke, the Heels are not only back to receiving votes, but they’ve jumped all the way to #25. It’s the first time the men have been ranked since November, as they dropped out after the Thanksgiving tournament losses to Purdue and Tennessee.

Biggest Winners

Going from completely vote-less to ranked means UNC had the biggest jump of the week. As far as jumps withing the rankings, Tennessee, UCLA, and Illinois all had four spot jumps after all three picked up wins over ranked opponents.

Biggest Losers

USC fell five spots after being on the end of UCLA’s aforementioned win, which was the biggest fall of the week. Also, Duke fell three spots, I type very seriously, definitely not with a smirk on my face.

Conference Breakdown

Marquee Matchups This Week

It’s conference tournament season, so there aren’t a lot of marquee matchups set ahead of time, so here’s a look at some of the tournaments that could shape Selection Sunday.

  • SEC Tournament: March 9-13 in Tampa - Final is Sunday at 1 PM ET on ESPN

The SEC has two teams in the running for one seeds, and goes in with four ranked teams in total. ESPN currently projects them to get six teams in the NCAA Tournament, and a couple could rocket themselves up the seeding list with a good week.

  • ACC Tournament: March 8-12 in Brooklyn - Final is Saturday at 8:30 PM ET on ESPN

ESPN currently projects the ACC with five teams in, but there’s a couple that are perilously on either side of the bubble. Knock on wood, but UNC have seemingly taken themselves off that list with the Duke win, but there’s a couple teams with work to do this week.

Women’s Basketball

AP Top 25

  1. South Carolina Gamecocks (17 first place votes)
  2. Stanford Cardinal (11)
  3. NC State Wolfpack (2)
  4. Baylor Bears
  5. Louisville Cardinals
  6. UConn Huskies
  7. Texas Longhorns
  8. Iowa Hawkeyes
  9. LSU Tigers
  10. Iowa State Cyclones
  11. Indiana Hoosiers
  12. Michigan Wolverines
  13. Maryland Terrapins
  14. Ohio State Buckeyes
  15. BYU Cougars
  16. Kentucky Wildcats
  17. Virginia Tech Hokies
  18. North Carolina Tar Heels
  19. Tennessee Volunteers
  20. Arizona Wildcats
  21. Oklahoma Sooners
  22. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
  23. Florida Gulf Coast Eagles
  24. Princeton Tigers
  25. UCF Golden Knights

Where is UNC?

The Tar Heels took a pretty brutal overtime loss in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals, but it didn’t cause them to fall too far in the rankings. They dropped two spots, one behind the team that beat them: Virginia Tech.

Biggest Winners

Kentucky went into last weekend’s SEC Tournament far from assured of a NCAA berth. Now, they’ve clinched the auto bid, and beat three ranked teams, including #1 South Carolina to get there. The run vaulted them up 10 spots to #16 in the Top 25.

Biggest Losers

A different SEC team was the biggest fall-er of the week after their tournament performance. Florida went from #23 to receiving just a handful of votes after losing to Ole Miss in Nashville.

Conference Breakdown

  • ACC: 5
  • Big Ten: 5
  • Big 12: 4
  • SEC: 4
  • Pac-12: 2
  • Big East: 1
  • AAC: 1
  • Atlantic Sun: 1
  • Ivy League: 1
  • WCC: 1

Marquee Matchups This Week

Most of the major conference held their women’s tournaments last week, but here’s a quick look at some of the important ones coming up this week.

With three teams ranked in the top ten, there’s going to be some seeding jockeying in this tournament this week, with two of them maybe even within reach for a #1 seed.

  • Summit League Tournament: March 5-8 in Sioux Falls - Final Today at 1 PM ET on ESPNU

The final of this tournament today provides an interesting scenario. According to ESPN, South Dakota is currently in as one of the “Last Four Byes” at a 10 seed. Their opponent, South Dakota State, is the higher seed in the Summit League, but currently projected as a #12 seed that wouldn’t make it without the auto bid. Bubble teams will almost certainly be pulling for South Dakota to keep this from becoming a two-bid league.