Are the North Carolina Tar Heels the Early Favorites To Win the ACC?

By Trevor Lowry
Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

The North Carolina Tar Heels did not meet their normal standards this year, but with a couple of players not declaring for the 2013 NBA Draft, are they the early favorites to win the ACC?

With P.J. Hairston and James Michael McAdoo returning, North Carolina will likely be ranked in the top 10 of the preseason polls, let alone be the favorites to win the ACC.

Reggie Bullock may have declared for the draft, but McAdoo and Hairston were arguably the two best players on this team. Both players were first and second on the team in points per game and McAdoo led the team in rebounds. Both players could have easily entered the draft, but them staying makes North Carolina that much better next season.

Leslie McDonald will also be back, along with Marcus Paige, who will likely play a huge role next season, thanks to his tremendous talent.

McDonald averaged 7.2 points per game on the season, but he did only average 17.7 minutes per game. Paige put up 8.2 points per game and 4.6 assists per game, which was pretty good for his first year in a Tar Heels uniform.

These four players alone will help make up a very good North Carolina team, but other freshmen on the team this season should play a bigger role next year, and this team will have some pretty good incoming freshmen like always.

The Tar Heels finished in third place in the ACC standings and only made it to the round of 32 in the 2013 NCAA Tournament. Don’t expect the same thing to happen again for the 2013-14 college basketball season.


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