Feb. 12, 2012
The current difference between Georgia Tech and North Carolina couldn’t be much tighter as the regular season heads into the final stretch. The two teams enter Sunday’s 2 p.m. contest with identical 17-7, 7-4 ACC records, are tied for 22nd in the Associated Press poll and are tied for fourth in the conference standings.
With only a few games left in the regular season, Sunday’s game will likely play an important role in determining who gets one of the four crucial first-round byes in next month’s ACC Tournament to be held March 1-4 in Greensboro, N.C.
Georgia Tech is coming off an eight-point loss to No. 8/10 Maryland Monday night, but has won six of its last eight games. North Carolina hopes to snap a two-game slide after suffering losses at No. 5/5 Duke Monday and No. 6/6 Miami Wednesday. The Tar Heels had five straight before this week.
The Yellow Jackets have won three straight in the series after sweeping the Tar Heels last season. Tech has 32 wins all-time over ranked teams, with seven of those coming against UNC. The Yellow Jackets have more wins over Carolina as a ranked opponent than any other team.
Taking Down The Tar Heels: Georgia Tech’s current three-game winning streak against the Tar Heels is the Jackets’ second-longest winning streak in series history. Tech won four straight games over UNC from Feb. 13, 1988 through Jan. 11, 1990. The current streak is only the third time the Jackets have won at least consecutive games in the series.
Georgia Tech swept the season series from UNC last year. The Yellow Jackets came from down seven with 1:03 to play to beat the No. 8/8 Tar Heels 71-70 in Atlanta Jan. 6. Tech claimed its first win in Chapel Hill in nine years with a 64-57 win Feb. 24 (read more about that game on page 5 of game notes).
In The Rankings: Georgia Tech is ranked in both the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll for the first time this year. The Yellow Jackets moved up to 22nd in this week’s AP poll and are 23rd in the coaches poll.
Georgia Tech has been ranked by the AP in 28 weeks all-time and 24 of those have come under head coach MaChelle Joseph. Tech has been ranked in the coaches poll 12 weeks. This week marks only the 10th time in which the Yellow Jackets have been ranked in both polls at the same time.
The Yellow Jackets own a 35-19 all-time record as a ranked team.
Tech’s Wins Against Ranked Foes: All-time, Tech has notched 32 wins against ranked foes and all but four of those wins have come against ACC teams, including seven times against North Carolina. Tech has twice defeated the Tar Heels in Chapel Hill when UNC was ranked, including last year’s 64-57 Tech win.
Joseph Knows How To Take Down The Ranked: Since head coach MaChelle Joseph took the reins of the Tech program prior to the 2003-04 season, the Yellow Jackets have beaten nine ranked foes. During her playing days at Purdue, Joseph helped the Boilermakers to 13 wins over ranked opponents in four years.
Alphabet Soup: In the NCAA RPI released February 5, Georgia Tech is ranked 15th, fourth in the ACC behind Duke (8), Maryland (12) and Miami (14) In the NCAA’s strength of schedule (SOS), Georgia Tech is 11th nationally and first in the ACC.