7. North Carolina (19-5)
North Carolina recently proved that they’re the best team in the ACC this season, but what does that really mean? They used a ten-game winning streak to secure themselves at the top of the league standings and have already beaten Duke and Clemson this season. Still, the Tar Heels have had a few struggles here recently and they continued into this past week.
Fresh off that thrilling win over Duke, the Tar Heels fell flat at home against Clemson, losing 80-76 as the Tigers avenged an early January defeat. Armando Bacot had 24 points and 13 rebounds while RJ Davis scored 22, but it wasn’t enough in a sloppy performance. North Carolina carefully avoided a second disaster over the weekend, hanging on for a 75-72 win at Miami on Saturday. Davis led the Tar Heels with 25 points while Bacot had another fine performance with 10 points and 15 rebounds.
A very uneven week certainly leaves a weird taste in the mouth of North Carolina fans. At 11-2, the Tar Heels are clearly in fantastic shape to win the ACC this season and look worlds better than last year’s squad that missed the Big Dance entirely. However, this week was a really rough one and you have to wonder if these problems will rear their ugly head in March. Next week involves a trip to Syracuse and a date back in Chapel Hill with Virginia Tech.