Reggie Bullock, Desharick Guidry

North Carolina’s Reggie Bullock expected to return Sunday

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North Carolina is coming off the biggest win of the year defeating UNLV 79-73 win at home on Saturday. To start the New Year, the Tar Heels received some more good news.

Junior, Reggie Bullock, the team’s second-leading scorer, returned to full practice on Friday and is expected to play in North Carolina’s conference opener against Virginia on Sunday, according to ESPN’s Robbi Pickeral.

Bullock, the 6-foot-7 wing, has been out since suffering a mild concussion on Dec. 27, when he and teammate, James Michael McAdoo collided into each at practice.

“Reggie was able to go through about half of practice today,” Tar Heels coach Roy Williams said on Friday. “If he doesn’t have any headaches, or any recurrence of symptoms that they worry about (with) the concussion, I would expect him to completely practice tomorrow. And if he does the same thing after that, I would expect him to play on Sunday.

“Everybody uses this term — ‘Cautiously optimistic’ is where we are.”

Depending on how Bullock responds following his return to the floor, Williams said Bullock could return to the starting lineup against Virginia.

The addition of Bullock is a big lift for North Carolina, as the Tar Heels open ACC play with three games – Virginia, Miami, and Florida State – in a span of a week. Bullock is coming into his own so far in his junior season, seeing career-highs in points, rebounds, and steals.  He’s also connecting on 48 percent of his three’s.

Bullock is averaging 13.1 points and 5.7 rebounds, and 3.3 assists per game.

North Carolina and Virginia enter Sunday’s game with identical 10-3 records.

Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne

Iowa State’s starting center Jameel McKay remains suspended

Iowa State forward Jameel McKay celebrates on the court at the end of an NCAA college basketball game against Oklahoma, Monday, Jan. 18, 2016, in Ames, Iowa. Iowa State won 82-77. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
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Steve Prohm announced on Monday that starting center Jameel McKay will not be in the lineup on Wednesday when the Cyclones take on Texas Tech.

“He’ll practice today because I want him in practice,” Prohm said, “but game-wise, he’s suspended.”

McKay did not make the trip to Stillwater with the team on Saturday, where Iowa State beat Oklahoma State, 64-59. Prohm has not gotten into specifics regarding the cause of McKay’s suspension, but it’s reportedly an issue with the way he has been practicing. McKay is dealing with a nagging knee injury, which may play a role in the situation as well.

“My hope is he’ll be with us on Saturday,” Prohm said.

AP POLL: Villanova climbs to No. 1 in the country.

Jay Wright
(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
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Like the Coaches Poll, Villanova found themselves No. 1 in the AP Poll during the regular season for the first time in the history of the program.

And like the Coaches Poll, there isn’t much in the way of a consensus when it comes to who is the No. 1 team, as there are six teams that received No. 1 votes in the poll this week.

[NEW PODCAST]

[LATEST BRACKETOLOGY]

The biggest shock to me?

The No. 1 team in the NBC Sports Top 25, Iowa, received just 11 first place votes and is ranked fourth in the AP Poll.

They were ranked fifth in the Coaches Poll.

Can we get Fran McCaffery the love they deserve?

Here is the rest of the AP Poll:

1. Villanova (20-3, 32 first-place votes)
2. Maryland (21-3, 13)
3. Oklahoma (19-3, 7)
4. Iowa (19-4, 11)
5. Xavier (21-2)
6. Kansas (19-4, 1)
7. Virginia (19-4, 1)
8. Michigan State (20-4)
9. North Carolina (19-4)
10. West Virginia (19-4)
11. Oregon (18-4)
12. Miami (FL) (18-4)
13. Louisville (19-4)
14. Iowa State (17-6)
15. Texas A&M (18-5)
16. SMU (20-2)
17. Arizona (19-5)
18. Purdue (19-5)
19. Dayton (19-3)
20. Providence (18-6)
21. Baylor (17-6)
22. Kentucky (17-6)
23. USC (18-5)
24. Texas (16-7)
25. Wichita State (17-6)

DROPPED OUT: No. 22 Indiana, No. 25 South Carolina
NEW ADDITIONS: No. 23 USC, No. 24 Texas