The North Carolina Tar Heels moved up to No. 9 in the AP Top 25 on Monday. The Tar Heels rose just one spot since last week but 12 spots over the last 21 days.
North Carolina has won six straight and knocked off Syracuse on the road, 78-74, on Wednesday. The Tar Heels led the entire night, but the Orange did tie the game with under three minutes to play. But the North Carolina defense buckled down not allowing another point, and senior point guard Joel Berry II made a couple free throws to secure the victory.
This winning streak began after North Carolina lost three straight toward the end of January. On Feb. 3, the Tar Heels blew out Pitt with an impressive second half and carried that momentum into their matchup against Duke, where they beat the Blue Devils, 82-78. The Tar Heels also have beaten North Carolina State, Notre Dame and Louisville during the winning streak.
North Carolina (22-7, 10-5) has two games remaining and although they can no longer win the ACC regular-season title, the Tar Heels need to win both of their final games to ensure a double-bye in the ACC Tournament. Plus, their regular-season finale is on the road against Duke (24-5, 12-4), where a tremendous bragging rights will be on the line.
In addition to North Carolina, the ACC had three other teams in the AP Top 25 this week. Virginia remained at No. 1 after beating Georgia Tech and Pitt last week. Duke extended its winning streak to five games with its victory over Syracuse on Saturday and stayed at No. 5.
Clemson rebounded from three straight losses and beat Georgia Tech on Saturday. The Tigers still dropped in the AP Top 25, though, to No. 18. After rejoining the poll last week, Florida State lost to N.C. State and fell out of the AP Top 25.