College basketball rankings: After struggling earlier this season, North Carolina is heating up again

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North Carolina suffered a four-game losing streak in late November/early December that ultimately resulted in the Tar Heels being dropped from the CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 — not to mention the Associated Press Top 25 poll and Coaches poll.

They are still unranked in all three.

But let the record show that the Tar Heels have responded by going 6-1 in their last seven games with wins over Ohio State, Michigan and Wake Forest and the lone loss coming at Pitt . According to, UNC ranks as a top 30 team in this area, which is one of the reasons the Tar Heels are only under 4.5 points Tuesday night in Virginia.

It’s a huge opportunity for UNC.

No school has ever gone from No. 1 in the preseason AP poll to unranked as quickly as the Tar Heels did this season, making them the biggest early disappointment in the sport. It was a bad look. But Tuesday’s road game against Virginia — the Cavaliers are No. 16 in Tuesday morning’s CBS Sports Top 25 and 1 daily college basketball rankings — is a chance to show that the rough start was just the beginning and it certainly isn’t is a sign of how January, February and March open. If the Tar Heels upset Virginia, they will improve to 4-5 in the first two quarters with all five losses falling in Quadrant 1.

That’s not a great resume for a preseason No. 1, obviously. But it’s respectable and could be the kind of resume that returns North Carolina to the Top 25 and 1 on Wednesday morning (depending on what else happens around the country, of course).

Top 25 and 1 rating

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