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Carolina cracks the Top 5 in AP Poll

After their best week of the season thus far, the Tar Heels are ranked #5 in the nation.

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

Good luck sleeping on the Tar Heels now. After two dominant wins over Duke and Florida State, Roy Williams and co. have risen into the Top 5 in the AP Poll. Along with Virginia and Duke, the Heels are one of three ACC teams that have that distinction. Lordy LORD this ACC title race is fun. Here are the AP Top 25 rankings as of February 25th:

AP Top 25

  1. Gonzaga (44) 27-2
  2. Virginia (15) 24-2
  3. Duke (4) 24-3
  4. Kentucky (2) 23-4
  5. North Carolina 22-5
  6. Michigan State 23-5
  7. Tennessee 24-3
  8. Houston 26-1
  9. Michigan 24-4
  10. Marquette 23-4
  11. Texas Tech 22-5
  12. Nevada 25-2
  13. LSU 22-5
  14. Purdue 20-7
  15. Kansas 20-7
  16. Kansas State 21-6
  17. Maryland 21-7
  18. Florida State 21-6
  19. Wisconsin 19-8
  20. Virginia Tech 21-6
  21. Buffalo 24-3
  22. Iowa 21-6
  23. Cincinnati 23-4
  24. Wofford 24-4
  25. Washington 22-5

Where is UNC?

The Tar Heels sit at #5, with plenty of work left to be done to close the ACC Regular Season. The Heels, sitting on the 2-seed line for the last few weeks, suddenly have a good shot at a #1-seed, provided they take care of business. The ACC’s Regular Season Champion will surely be a #1-seed, since it will have out-dueled two top squads to be so. Whoever gets the silver and bronze will have chance to snatch another #1 by winning the conference title.

Biggest Winners

Outside of the Tar Heels, the team who had the best week in college basketball has to be Michigan State, who got a MASSIVE road win over Michigan on Sunday, despite being without Joshua Langford and Nick Ward. The Spartans are now in the driver’s seat in the Big Ten with their home rematch against the Wolverines looming large. In addition, Maryland hopped 7 spots thanks to a road win at Iowa, as did Kansas State who, as of the writing of this article, has a massive game at Allen Field house on Monday night* that will effectively determine whether they can hold on to win the Big 12. Also, Wofford is ranked #24!

Editor’s Note: Kansas State lost 49-64 to Kansas. Welp.

Biggest Losers

The Nevada Wolfpack, a team many had picked to finish the regular season undefeated, dropped 7 spots after a road loss at San Diego State. Nevada’s weak competition is such that every loss is as good as surrendering an NCAA seed or two. Kansas fell three spots after getting obliterated on the road by Texas Tech. Worse, the Jayhawks now sit two games back of Kansas State in the Big 12 standings with four games to go (though they do hold the tiebreaker at the moment).

On the Outside Looking In

After their second half collapse against Virginia, the Louisville Cardinals fell from #18 to right out of the polls. Maybe we were too quick to crown Chris Mack National Coach of the Year? The Cardinals were the leading unranked vote getter, followed by Villanova and Iowa State.

Conference Breakdown

AAC - 2

ACC - 5

Big East - 1

Big Ten - 6

Big 12 - 3

MAC - 1

Mountain West - 1

Pac 12 - 1

SEC - 3

Southern - 1

West Coast - 1

Top 25 Matchups This Week

#15 Kansas vs. #16 Kansas State on February 25th at 9:00 pm ET

#3 Duke @ #20 VA Tech on February 26th at 7:00 pm ET

#4 Kentucky @ #7 Tennessee on March 2nd at 2:00 pm ET

#9 Michigan @ #17 Maryland on March 3rd at 3:45 pm ET