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Giglio: Heels In Control

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It is not the way most thought it would happen but the Heels moved into first place(tied with Duke) and according to ACC Now's Joe Giglio should close the deal:


Just as everyone predicted, the Tar Heels will make the turn in first place.

It's not at 8-0, or even 7-1, but suddenly the Heels find themselves in the driver's seat in the ACC after an 0-2 start.

Wake Forest has lost two straight after getting embarrassed at Miami on Wednesday and is just 4-3, despite an 2-0 record against Duke and Carolina.

Duke's 6-2 after getting throttled by Clemson on Wednesday (more on that in a minute).

As long as Clemson remains in third place, or even tied with Duke and UNC, UNC would win the ACC's regular-season with a split with the Devils (because of the win over Clemson).

As predicted, the importance of UNC's win at Florida State continues to grow. A loss there, and the Heels are 5-3 and starting to ask serious questions about depth and defense with the loss of Marcus Ginyard.

Thanks to Danny Green's late steal and Ty Lawson's running 3 in Tallahassee, the Heels are 6-2 and, more importantly, confident.

The difference between confidence and overconfidence is focus. The 0-2 ACC start wasn't a wakeup call for Carolina but a reminder that you are only as good (or bad) as you think you are. No other opinions matter. The Heels soaked up too much of the "unbeatable" rhetoric instead of playing with focus.

UNC had already shown it can beat up teams but the FSU win showed it could win a close game when everything was working against them.

Why bring this up now? Wake Forest and Duke couldn't win, or even come close, in similar road circumstances on Wednesday.

One more reason to like the Heels to close the ACC — the schedule. True, there are two games against Duke, but no Wake and no Clemson.

The three bad ACC teams — N.C. State, Virginia and Georgia Tech — all come to Chapel Hill.

The other three games are at Maryland (please) and at Miami and Virginia Tech.

In terms of the bigger picture of the ACC regular season title, the game next week versus Duke matters but then again it might not.  Why?  Because a 13-3 UNC team can probably still win the ACC.  That picture will  be clearer after this weekend when we see if Miami falls into trap game mode or shows up to take a shot at a wounded(mentally anyway) Duke team. UNC also needs to dispose of UVa and not get caught looking ahead.  I think Duke, Wake Forest and Clemson all end up with at least four losses before it is said and done which means 13-3 would be the ticket for the Heels to win the ACC regular season.  I also think it is possible for the Heels to go ahead and run the table to make it 14-2. I also agree with Giglio.  UNC has tasted it's own mortality and also worked through a tough game they probably should have lost at FSU.  Those kind of wins matter both in the standings and in terms of team psyche.

Whatever the case, it will be a lot of fun going forward since you have six teams bunched up near the top.