March 9, 2009

Tar Heels back on top in men’s hoops

It took them 10 weeks, but Monday the North Carolina Tar Heels reclaimed the No. 1 ranking in men's college basketball.

The Tar Heels were the top-rated team through the first seven weeks of the ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll and ran their record to 13-0 before losing at home to Boston College and then at Wake Forest two games later. That knocked them down to as low as No. 6 in the poll.

But the Tar Heels have gone 13-1 since then -- their only loss coming at the hands of North Carolina State -- to compile a 27-3 mark as the NCAA tournament approaches.

Pittsburgh (28-3) climbed from fourth to No. 2 with a pair of wins and Memphis (28-3) remained No. 3. Connecticut (27-3) fell two spots to No. 4, followed by Louisville (25-5), which rose one place to No. 5.

Michigan State (25-5) moved up two rungs to No. 6, followed by Oklahoma (27-4) at No. 7, Duke (25-6) No. 8, Wake Forest (24-5) No. 9 and Washington (24-7) No. 10.

Filling out the Top 25 this week are Kansas (25-6), Gonzaga (25-5), Villanova 25-6), UCLA (24-7), Missouri (25-6), LSU (25-6), Butler (26-4), Clemson (23-7), Xavier (24-6), Syracuse (23-8), Marquette (23-8), Florida State (23-8), Arizona State (22-8), Purdue (22-9) and Illinois (23-8).