1. North Carolina (7-2, 1-0)
There has certainly been no shortage of drama since Roy Williams retired. First-year head coach Hubert Davis led these Tar Heels to the national championship game in 2022. With expectations through the roof, North Carolina faltered in a major way and missed the Big Dance entirely. Many are hoping this year is at the very least somewhere between those first two seasons and it’s hard to argue against the Tar Heels as the favorite after one month of play.
After a few easy wins, the Tar Heels claimed 3rd place at the Battle 4 Atlantis, getting big wins over Northern Iowa and Arkansas while losing an overtime thriller to Villanova between them. Less than a week later they played an offensive classic, winning 100-92 over a very good Tennessee squad known for its defense. These last two performances have been less ideal, but the Tar Heels used a strong second half to survive Florida State before falling at Madison Square Garden to defending champion Connecticut.
Armando Bacot continues to be one of the nation’s best rebounders, RJ Davis is playing great basketball, and newcomers like Harrison Ingram and Elliot Cadeau are thriving early on. It would be incorrect to say that this Tar Heels squad is without fault, with some defensive lapses especially in recent weeks. However, this team certainly looks a lot better than the disappointing effort from last season and it’s hard to pick another ACC squad over them at this moment in time.
The teams in the ACC have barely seen one another and their seasons are only a month old. Still, we’ve looked at where they currently stand and ranked the 15 teams in this league, with the top few certainly standing out above the rest. Do you agree with how we’ve ranked these teams? Do you think someone takes a clear step forward in the months ahead?