After completing a regular-season sweep of Duke on Sunday, Roy Williams, while talking about how much this year's North Carolina basketball team means to him, struggled to control his emotions.
More reason for the coach to gush (or turn to mush): On Monday, North Carolina regained the No. 1 ranking in the ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll. The Tar Heels, whose 79-71 win over the Blue Devils secured the ACC regular-season title and top seed in the conference tournament, had been tops the preseason and for the first seven weeks of the regular season.
UNC (27-3) received 23 of 31 first-place votes for 767 points, 40 points ahead of No. 2 Pittsburgh. The Panthers (28-3), fresh off their second win over Connecticut in 19 days, received five first-place votes to move up two spots.
North Carolina also was No. 1 in the new Associated Press media poll on Monday and No. 1 in the latest ESPN/USA Today baseball poll.
Memphis (28-3) collected three such votes -- one fewer than last week -- and remained third while riding a 22-game winning streak.
UConn (27-3) checked in at No. 4, one spot ahead of Big East regular-season champion Louisville. The Cardinals (25-5, 16-2 Big East) secured the top seed in the conference tournament by beating West Virginia 62-59 on Saturday.
Big Ten champion Michigan State (25-5) moved up two spots to sixth. Oklahoma (27-4) fell two spots to seventh after losing to Missouri last week. Duke (25-6) fell one spot to eighth; Wake Forest (24-5) checked in at ninth, one spot better than last week; and Pac-10 regular-season champion Washington (24-7) made a three-spot jump to 10th.
Defending NCAA champion Kansas (25-6) fell two spots to 11th after a week that started with an upset loss at Texas Tech but culminated in a home win over Texas that gave the Jayhawks their fifth straight Big 12 regular-season championship.
Gonzaga (25-5) moved up two spots to 12 and was followed by Villanova (25-6), UCLA (24-7), Missouri (25-6), LSU (25-6), Butler (26-4), Clemson (23-7), Xavier (24-6) and Syracuse (23-8).
No. 21 Marquette (23-8), Florida State (23-8), Arizona State (22-8), Purdue (22-9) and Illinois (23-8) round out the Top 25.