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By Thomas Gessner
Chapel Hill’s victory over Duke has shaken up the power rankings, but will it be enough for the Tar Heels to hold the #1 spot in our rankings, and will Duke remain in the top 5?
1. UNC Greensboro (14-6, 9-3 SoCon)
UNCG did not let a tough loss against Furman on Tuesday keep the team down, winning the second game in the series, and as a result, staying atop of the North Carolina power rankings. With their hardest competition behind them, the Spartans should start to look towards the SoCon tournament, where this team’s legacy for the season will be determined with a shot at the NCAA Tournament on the line.
2. UNC Chapel Hill (12-6, 7-4 ACC)
The Tar Heels are dealing with scandal after a leaked video of UNC players partying maskless caused Miami to pull out of their game which was scheduled for Monday. Luckily for Chapel Hill, off-court behavior has no effect on the power rankings, and a big win against the rival Blue Devils on Saturday keps Chapel Hill in contention as one of the best team in the state. At this point in the season, for UNC to take the #1 spot, it will take another win over Duke, and a victory over some of the better ACC teams, specifically Virginia and Virginia Tech.
3. Davidson (10-5, 6-2 Atlantic 10)
Davidson has had another week of no games, with four postponed games in a row, but what was written last week will be maintained: a win over the talented VCU will give the team credibility heading into the A10 tournament.
4. Appalachian State (12-7, 6-4 Sun Belt)
App State had two games postponed and two canceled this week, but still have a fair amount of games remaining in their season, before heading into the Sun Belt tournament, with a chance to create a splash before March Madness.
5. Duke (7-8, 5-6 ACC)
Duke might have been handed the toughest and most personal loss of their season against the Tar Heels, and then proceeded to lose to a Notre Dame team at home, the originally nationally ranked squad has failed to meet expectations, but despite the disappointment, The Blue Devils are still one of the better North Carolina teams. With upcoming games against NC State, Wake Forest, and an anticipated rematch against the Tar Heels, Duke has a chance to get back into winning form.
6. North Carolina State (8-8, 4-7 ACC)
Another loss to the Syracuse Orange and a victory against Boston College (the worst ACC team) will keep NC State from making much of an impact in these rankings. There are no easy games left for The Wolfpack this season, but anything could happen against inconsistent Duke, Pitt, and Notre Dame teams.
7. UNC Asheville (10-9, 9-5 Big South)
Asheville keeps an identical record, and is yet another team to suffer from a lack of games due to postponements/cancellations. To prevent anyone from forgetting, this is the team that cannot win two games in a row against the same team, and with three back-to-backs left, it is up to the Bulldogs to try to break that stigma with a notable upcoming series against Campbell.
8. Campbell (10-9, 6-6 Big South)
Campbell is another team without any games this week, and continues the trend of COVID-affected teams without much to talk about.
9. East Carolina (8-8, 2-8 AAC)
Following one of the biggest upsets of the season, East Carolina returns to planet Earth with losses to Memphis and SMU, not bad teams, but not nearly as impressive as Houston. The Pirate’s conference woes continue, and so does a tough schedule, with games against Wichita State, Temple, Tulsa, and a rematch with Houston.
10. UNC Charlotte (9-10, 5-6 CUSA)
Charlotte struggled this past week, with three close losses against Middle Tennessee and Old Dominion, with the latter game going into overtime. These losses stain Charlotte’s previously positive record, and adds uncertainty for the team for the remainder of the season.
11. Wake Forest (6-8, 3-8 ACC)
A win against a terrible Boston College team is not enough to cheer up Wake Forest fans, but Wake has been much more level the last few weeks, playing roughly .500 basketball. The rest of the Deacon’s schedule is undeniably tough, but expect some surprises from a Wake Forest team that has stayed competitive.
12. North Carolina A&T (8-9, 4-0 MEAC)
The Aggies had no games in the last week, and the lack of games leaves a lack of words in a weekly power ranking, but look out for A&T in the MEAC tournament, especially if the team keeps that perfect record.
13. Western Carolina (9-11, 2-9 SoCon)
Western Carolina’s tour of Southern military academies failed to increase their winning percentage, as the Catamounts lost to the Citadel, then proceeded to defeat a VMI team that defeated WCU by 26 points earlier in the season. The Catamounts have to close out the season on a tough schedule, with back-to-back UNCG games looking particularly challenging.
14. North Carolina Central (4-5, 2-2 MEAC)
The Florida A&M Rattlers dismantled NC Central’s positive record and undefeated streak in the MEAC, and in doing so has added to the narrative that the Eagles cannot win away from home, with an 0-5 record outside of Durham. Will this persist when the Eagles face a winless South Carolina State team in Orangeburg on Saturday?
15. UNC Wilmington (7-8, 1-5 CAA)
A lack of games this past week keeps Wilmington safe from any movement on their behalf, and the main hope for the team is that they will be able to play some more conference games, especially if the Seahawks can improve their record in the CAA.
16. High Point (7-10, 4-6 Big South)
High Point traded wins with Hampton, the first game being a convincing 72-58 victory and the second being a close loss to a team that went hot while High Point went cold, shooting an abysmal 26.9% from three on 26 attempts.
17. Gardner-Webb (8-12, 7-8 Big South)
Gardner-Webb attempted to regain some lost momentum after the two losses to High Point with two victories over Presbyterian, only to follow up with a loss to a lacking USC Upstate team with only four wins on the season. With Webb’s regular season drawing to a close, fans should look forward to the final games against Longwood, but do not expect any easy wins from the Bulldogs.
18. Elon (3-7, 0-6 CAA)
Elon continues to be consistent, holding down the 18th spot on the power rankings with another loss to an underwhelming James Madison squad. The multiple postponements in Elon’s schedule has hurt the team, and is a factor that cannot be held against the team, but even the games they have had have been disappointing to say the least.
Further Reading: See how this week's rankings differ from last week ●
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