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AP Top 25 Poll - Week 4: Tar Heels fall, but are not the biggest losers

There was a lot of movement in this week’s AP Poll

NCAA Basketball: North Carolina at Portland Joseph Weiser-USA TODAY Sports

Well, that was a chaotic week. It was headlined by Arizona losing three straight games, but there was a bunch of other craziness as well: Alabama outplaying Minnesota while playing 3-on-5, Duke managing to come from behind three straight times to win the PK80 Motion Bracket (I mean, come on, Florida!!), and Jevon Carter of West Virginia putting his team on his back to come back against Missouri. This all amounted to a ton of movement in the AP Top 25, leaving us with this:

  1. Duke (65)
  2. Kansas
  3. Michigan State
  4. Villanova
  5. Notre Dame
  6. Florida
  7. Kentucky
  8. Wichita State
  9. Texas A&M
  10. Miami
  11. Cinicinnati
  12. Minnesota
  13. North Carolina
  14. Southern California
  15. Gonzaga
  16. Baylor
  17. Louisville
  18. Virginia
  19. West Virginia
  20. Arizona State
  21. Xavier
  22. Texas Tech
  23. Texas Christian
  24. Alabama
  25. Creighton

Where is UNC?

UNC had been having a successful PK80 tournament before an absolutely lifeless performance against Michigan State, resulting in UNC’s worst field goal percentage and worst 3-point percentage in school history. Despite North Carolina’s strong showing earlier in the week and the strength of the opponent to which UNC lost, the degree of the loss was apparently enough to knock the Tar Heels down four spots from 9 to 13.

UNC returns home this week to participate in the ACC-Big 10 Challenge with a game against Michigan on Wednesday, then will travel to Charlotte to face Davidson on Friday before returning to Chapel Hill to host Tulane.

Biggest Losers

The big story of the week was Arizona, who fell from #2 to unranked in the space of a week for one of the biggest collapses in AP Poll history after a winless Battle 4 Atlantis with losses to unranked NC State and SMU. The Wildcats look like a team without an identity or any idea how to play with each other, and coach Sean Miller had better figure out how to fix this as soon as possible. With the slide, Arizona breaks what had been the country’s second-longest active streak of AP Top 25 appearances at an even 100. Kansas leads with 164, and UNC is now 3rd at 64.

Biggest Winners

The Duke Blue Devils are a charmed team right now. Three times they found themselves behind by double digits, and three times they ended up winning, earning them the PK80 Motion Bracket championship and, in turn, a unanimous #1 ranking. Either they’re too good to hold back for 40 minutes or their habit of falling behind will catch up to them. Right now, voters seem to think the former, but this will only last as long as they don’t lose.

Notre Dame had one of the most impressive weeks of any ranked team, coming back from 16 down to beat Wichita State in the Maui Invitational final. They jumped from 13 to 5, making their impending game against #3 Michigan State a must-watch.

Texas A&M had a similarly impressive of any ranked team, dismantling then-#10 USC among several other dominant victories. They earned a rise up from 16 to 9.

Virginia, Arizona State, Texas Tech, TCU, and Creighton all entered the Top 25 this week.

Top 25 Conference Breakdown

ACC: 6
Big 12: 5
Big 10: 2
Big East: 3
SEC: 4
AAC: 2
Pac-12: 2
WCC: 1