Busting Brackets

3 takeaways from UNC Basketball's much-needed victory over Oklahoma Sooners

Jumpman Classic: North Carolina v Oklahoma
Jumpman Classic: North Carolina v Oklahoma / Grant Halverson/GettyImages
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3) This Carolina team is going to be ranked in the top 15 all season

It remains to be seen if UNC has what it takes to legitimately compete for a Final Four and a national championship. It feels like we still haven't seen Carolina's A+ game, and we'll need to see more consistency on a nightly basis to fully trust them to make a deep tournament run, yet even so, the Heels will be ranked in the top 10 of the next AP poll, and other than RJ Davis, nobody on this team is playing to his full potential yet.

Wednesday's game showed us that UNC is going to be in the mix all year. Last year's squad failed repeatedly to close out games and get big wins, but there are few teams in the country with better resumes right now.

Carolina finished seventh in the ACC with an 11-9 record last season. I can confidently say that there is no way that happens again. Even if the Heels have some off-nights, a top-four finish in conference seems like the bare minimum to expect. Duke and Miami will have something to say about who wins the regular season ACC title (and maybe Clemson too!), but the Heels are at least co-favorites.

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Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and Carolina fans that missed seeing typical Tar Heel greatness last year can now better appreciate its return. Carolina isn't going away this year, and if anything, there's still plenty of room to grow.