7. North Carolina (11-3)
The Tar Heels sit in an interesting position as a program, though it’s hard to feel bad about their dreadful performance last season. Things look much brighter this year and the combination of Armando Bacot and RJ Davis are doing wonders yet again. North Carolina certainly looks like a top team in the ACC and they certainly made sure the rest of their league knows it.
On Tuesday, the Tar Heels traveled to Pittsburgh and beat the Panthers 70-57, triumphing in their first true road game of the season. Bacot had 16 points and 10 rebounds, Harrison Ingram grabbed 15 boards, and the Tar Heels played a great defensive game. They played even better four days later, again on the road, claiming a 65-55 win at a ranked Clemson squad. Bacot’s 14 points and 16 rebounds led the charge while Davis added 14 points of his own in another lower-scoring affair.
Any power conference team that can win a pair of road games in a single week is doing something right, but North Carolina doing it against two of the better teams in their league is extraordinary. Clemson certainly looked like a potential favorite to win the ACC and the Tar Heels still beat them by double digits away from home. Their 3-0 start to conference play is tested on the road again next week at NC State before a home date with Syracuse.