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AP Top 25 Poll - Week 3: Tar Heels ranked ninth

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Things were very quiet in this week’s AP Polls.

NCAA Basketball: Northern Iowa at North Carolina Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Last week was an entertaining week in college hoops, especially for the casual fan that enjoys great non-conference games. The State Farm Champions Classic provided two really good games by four blue blood teams, both of which were really close games the whole way through. It was also a good week for UNC fans, even though news broke that Cameron Johnson will miss four to six weeks after having surgery on his meniscus.

So where do all of the teams stand coming out of this past week? Here is this week’s Associated Press Top 25 poll:

AP Top 25

  1. Duke (54)
  2. Arizona (11)
  3. Kansas
  4. Michigan State
  5. Villanova
  6. Wichita State
  7. Florida
  8. Kentucky
  9. North Carolina
  10. USC
  11. Miami
  12. Cincinnati
  13. Notre Dame
  14. Minnesota
  15. Xavier
  16. Texas A&M
  17. Gonzaga
  18. Purdue
  19. Louisville
  20. Seton Hall
  21. Saint Mary’s
  22. Baylor
  23. West Virginia
  24. UCLA
  25. Alabama

Where is UNC?

Last week, UNC got their first ugly win out of the way against Bucknell. Zach Thomas and Nana Foulland were very tough players for the Heels to defend, each putting up 21 points for the game. Following their performance at the Dean Smith Center, Bucknell took Maryland down to the wire and only lost against the Terrapins by two points.

The No. 9 Tar Heels are on the west coast as we speak playing in the inaugural PK80 Tournament. It will be very interesting to see if Joel Berry’s shot returns to him, and if Luke Maye will continue his dominance as well. The freshman big men will be tested down low against better talent as well, and so this trip will provide a better look at where the team currently stands among the rest of the NCAA.

Biggest Losers

  • Northwestern found themselves getting tested very early in the season by both Creighton and Texas Tech. While the loss to Creighton was a close one, Texas Tech demolished the Wildcats on both offense and defense. Northwestern only shot 26.7% for the night, while the Red Raiders made 60.4% of their shots — more than double the percentage made by their opponent. The saving grace is that Northwestern received 20 votes this week despite their poor performance, and so they will need to maintain some form of momentum into Big Ten play if they want to find themselves back in the rankings.

Biggest Winners

  • The Duke Blue Devils are perhaps the biggest winners from this past week thanks to senior guard Grayson Allen. In a hard-fought game against Michigan State, Duke was in big trouble when star freshman Marvin Bagley III was gouged in the eye by his own teammate and had to sit for the remainder of the game. Allen came to the rescue, and dropped 37 points on the Spartans in a game where he played the entire 40 minutes. Freshman Trevon Duval also had a double-double performance, scoring 17 points and had 10 assists for the night.
  • Alabama saw the return of freshman Collin Sexton last Tuesday in a win against Lipscomb last Tuesday night. The top-10 ranked freshman scored 22 points and had 5 assists, and followed up his performance by scoring 25 points against Alabama A&M on Friday. John Petty also had a stellar game against A&M, scoring 30 points and only missing three of his shots from behind the arc. The Crimson Tide have found themselves breaking through to the top 25 in the polls with Sexton’s return, and it will be interesting to see what this team can do Saturday when they take on No. 15 Minnesota.

Top 25 Conference Breakdown

Big 12: 3

Big Ten: 3

Big East: 3

SEC: 4

ACC: 5

Pac-12: 3

AAC: 2

West Coast: 2