Roy Williams is no stranger to having a top-ranked college basketball team.
In seven of his 15 seasons at Kansas University, his Jayhawks reached No. 1, including a 15-week stretch in 1996-97.
"I've been No. 1 before, and if you don't finish that way at the end of the year, it means you had a good little stretch," Williams said on Monday after learning his North Carolina Tar Heels had earned the school's first No. 1 AP poll ranking in almost six years.
The Tar Heels (14-1) moved into the top spot Monday after three weeks at No. 2 following UCLA's loss at Oregon last weekend.
It is North Carolina's first time at No. 1 since a two-week run in February 2001, and it's the first time the Tar Heels are there in the three-plus seasons, including the 2005 national championship, under Williams.
"I feel good where we are, but it's so, so early," Williams said Monday. "We have 15 more battles to go in the conference, so we'll see what happens."
His former school, KU, moved from ninth to sixth in the rankings.
North Carolina received 64 first-place votes and 1,788 points from the 72-member national media panel to outdistance No. 2 Florida (14-2), which had three No. 1 votes and 1,682 points in moving up one spot from last week. The Gators were No. 1 in the preseason poll and for the first two weeks of the regular season.
Wisconsin (15-1) received one first-place vote and moved from fourth to third, the highest ranking in school history, while UCLA dropped from first to fourth.
The Bruins (14-1), who received four first-place votes, held the No. 1 spot for six weeks until the 68-66 loss at Oregon on Saturday.
Ohio State moved up one place to fifth and was followed by KU, Pittsburgh, Texas A&M;, Oklahoma State and Arizona.
Duke, which dropped six spots after its home loss to Virginia Tech on Saturday, was 11th and was followed by Butler, LSU, Alabama, Oregon, Tennessee, Clemson, Air Force, Nevada and Memphis.
West Virginia was 21st, with Notre Dame and Washington State tied for No. 22, while Connecticut and Texas rounded out the Top 25.
The Tar Heels' lone loss was to Gonzaga in the semifinals of the NIT Season Tip-Off. They have won 11 straight since, including the 84-58 victory over Florida State in their ACC opener Sunday.
"Defensively, we are getting better the last four, five games, and I appreciate their attitude, but we have so far to go," Williams said. "We also have to work on our freelance offense. When we don't have a set play called, we can do such a better job with spacing and getting on the backboard. We have stood around instead of getting everyone involved."
Texas (11-3) joined Washington State as the other poll newcomer this week, coming in off a 102-78 victory over Colorado in its Big 12 Conference opener.
The Longhorns were 21st in the preseason poll.