4. North Carolina (13-3)
At this moment in time, North Carolina looks like the team to beat in the ACC. A very eventful nonconference season put them in a decent position, even with three tough losses, including against top tier teams in Connecticut and Kentucky. Since conference play has started, the Tar Heels have stepped up to another level and really do look like one of the nation’s top contenders as of early January.
The Tar Heels continued their recent winning streak on Wednesday, scoring a 67-54 road win at NC State. RJ Davis had 16 points, Harrison Ingram grabbed 19 rebounds, and North Carolina won a third consecutive game on the road. The team was back in Chapel Hill this weekend and absolutely pounded Syracuse, getting a 103-67 win over the Orange. Davis scored 22, both Ingram and Armando Bacot had double-doubles, and the Tar Heels excelled in nearly every aspect of the ballgame.
Not only have the Tar Heels won six straight and their first five ACC games, but these last four outings have all been double-digit victories. North Carolina has shown that they can win in these tough conference environments. Their defense played at an elite level during that long road trip and the offense had its third 100-point performance of the season on Saturday. They should have a laugher next week against Louisville before another road test at Boston College.