Last Time Duke & North Carolina Were Both Unranked

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Duke guard Caleb Foster (1) runs a play against Arkansas during an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023, in Fayetteville, Ark.
(AP Photo/Michael Woods)
Chase Kiddy @chaseakiddy Feb 06, 2024, 3:48 PM

Both Duke men’s basketball and North Carolina men’s basketball were unranked in Week 17 of college basketball’s 2023 AP Poll. It’s the last time that neither team appeared in the AP Top 25. 

During the current season, both teams have stayed in the poll every week. North Carolina will make the NCAA Tournament as a top seed. Compare that to 2023, which was the last time UNC missed the NCAA Tournament altogether. 

Prior to 2023, the Tar Heels and Blue Devils played a very bizarre version of the famous Tobacco Row rivalry in 2021, where neither team was ranked and no fans were in attendance because of COVID policies. The game came near the end of long, dynastic runs for both Duke and UNC men’s basketball.

Prior to the 2020-21 season, both Duke and UNC had appeared in every men’s basketball AP Poll since 1982. 

Last Time Duke Wasn’t Ranked

Duke finished the 2022-23 season in the AP Poll, but they did drop out of the top 25 for a six-week period toward the end of the season. They dropped out of the poll in Week 11 (Jan. 16) and didn’t appear again until Week 18 (March 6).

Last Time North Carolina Wasn’t Ranked

North Carolina struggled through ACC play in 2023. Though the Tar Heels started the season as the preseason No. 1 team, they ultimately dropped out of the AP Poll in Week 5 (Dec. 5). 

UNC reappeared briefly at No. 25 in Week 8 (Dec. 26) but was immediately dropped the following week. They did not reappear in the AP Top 25 for the remainder of the season, marking the final college basketball poll of 2023 as the last time the Tar Heels were absent from the list.

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About the Author

Chase Kiddy

Read More @chaseakiddy

Chase Kiddy is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else. He has also written for a number of print and online outlets, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post, Daily News-Record, and HERO Sports. His first novel, Cave Paintings, is in development.

Chase Kiddy is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else. He has also written for a number of print and online outlets, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post, Daily News-Record, and HERO Sports. His first novel, Cave Paintings, is in development.