Tennessee basketball slips in AP Top 25 on heels of last-minute loss to North Carolina

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee men’s basketball stayed in the Top 25 polls, No. 20 in the USA Today Coaches Poll and No. 21 in the AP Top 25 after Sunday’s 78-73 setback to North Carolina.

The Tar Heels (10-1) moved up to No. 5 in the AP Top 25 poll with the win over the Vols, rallying with a 9-0 run in the final minute after trailing for 37 minutes of the contest in front of a sold-out crowd.

RELATED: 3 things about Tennessee’s last-minute fade in North Carolina loss

The Vols (7-2) fell one spot in the AP Top 25 with the loss, their second to a top 5 team. Tennessee’s other loss came at the hands of No. 1-ranked Villanova in a game the Vols led by 15 points.

Tennessee is No. 16 in the RPI rankings, down from No. 6 after the loss to the Tar Heels.

“They’ve got to go from talking about it to doing it,” Barnes said, asked what his team needs to do to take the next step. “All the teams say all the right things. We said all the right things during the Villanova game at halftime.

“It goes back to the standard we set. It’s about who we believe we are and who we want to be.”

RELATED: Vols’ last-minute loss as much on coach as players

Barnes, whose team returns to action at 9 p.m. on Wednesday at home against Furman, said the Vols need to do a better job communicating.

“I don’t know if we’ll be the team we need to be until we learn to talk and coach each other,” Barnes said. “We had three shot clock violations (against North Carolina).”

The Vols also held a 38-32 lead at halftime — the second straight season they’ve led North Carolina at halftime only to lose. Last year, Tennessee was up by as many as 15 points in Chapel Hill before losing to the Tar Heels, 73-71.

AP TOP 25

(12-18-17)

1. Villanova (11-0), 1,602 points

2. Michigan State (10-1), 1,560

3. Arizona State (10-0), 1,429

4. Duke (11-1), 1,390

5. North Carolina (10-1), 1,332

6. Miami (9-0), 1,308

7. Kentucky (9-1), 1,231

8. Texas A&M (9-1), 1,156

9. Xavier (10-1), 1,073

10. West Virginia (9-1), 1,040

11. Wichita State (8-2), 851

12. Gonzaga (9-2), 831

13. Virginia (9-1), 796

14. Kansas (8-2), 791

15. TCU (10-0), 789

16. Purdue (11-2), 706

17. Oklahoma (8-1), 691

18. Arizona (8-3), 396

18. Baylor (9-2), 396

20. Cincinnati (9-2), 314

21. Tennessee (7-2), 308

21. Texas Tech (9-1), 308

23. Seton Hall (9-2), 223

24. Florida State (9-1), 164

25. Creighton (8-2), 144.

The post Tennessee basketball slips in AP Top 25 on heels of last-minute loss to North Carolina appeared first on SEC Country.

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