AP Poll: UNC Still Unanimous No. 1
Nov. 17, 2008
North Carolina started the season without injured starters Tyler Hansbrough and Marcus Ginyard and stayed a unanimous No. 1 in The Associated Press' college basketball poll Monday.
The Tar Heels (1-0) didn't have Hansbrough (shin) or Ginyard (foot surgery) in their season-opening 86-71 win over Pennsylvania last weekend, but strong play from freshmen big men Tyler Zeller and Ed Davis were enough to draw all 72 first-place votes from the national media panel.
No teams from the preseason poll lost in the first week. That left all 25 teams from the first regular-season poll in the latest rankings, with just a couple of schools moving a place or two.
Connecticut, Louisville and UCLA stayed second through fourth. Michigan State, which beat Idaho 100-62 in its opener, and Pittsburgh, which opened with an 86-63 win over Fairleigh Dickinson, switched places to fifth and sixth, respectively.
Texas held seventh and Notre Dame and Gonzaga each moved up one spot to eight and ninth. Duke dropped from No. 8 to 10. The Blue Devils beat Presbyterian and Georgia Southern by an average of 37 points before rallying to squeak by Rhode Island 82-79 on Sunday night.
Purdue again was No. 11, followed by Oklahoma, Memphis and Tennessee. Arizona State and Marquette were tied for No. 15, with Miami, Florida, Southern California and Wake Forest completing the top 20. The last five ranked teams were Davidson, Georgetown, Villanova, Kansas and Wisconsin.
All the teams started their seasons last week except for Louisville and Georgetown. Louisville opens against Morehead State on Saturday in the first round of the Billy Minardi Classic. Georgetown was to host Jacksonville on Monday night.
Hansbrough, the reigning national player of the year, missed the first game of his college career because of the leg injury and the timetable for his return has not been set. Coach Roy Williams said last week the team is being conservative with his recovery. Ginyard, the Tar Heels' best defender, is out until December.
North Carolina hosts Kentucky on Tuesday and is at Cal-Santa Barbara on Friday, then will play in the EA Sports Maui Invitational next week in a field that also features Texas and Notre Dame.
The season's first matchup of top 10 teams could take place Friday in the championship game of the 2K Sports Classic Benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer in New York if Duke beats Southern Illinois in one semifinal and UCLA defeats Michigan in the other.