My first thought after realizing UNC would probably break back into the ranking was:
Oh good, just in time to go lose at Boston College then drop a game at home to FSU!
Needless to say the scars of 2010 still breed much trepidation and pessimism.
At any rate, the AP poll brings UNC in at #23 tied with Vanderbilt(the Heels are 26th in the coaches poll voting.) In relation to other schools that have beaten UNC, Minnesota is 18th. Illinois has now exited the poll stage right joining Georgia Tech in the land of the unranked. Texas is now 3rd which does nothing but bug me that UNC was "this close" to beating them. Now that the Heels are ranked team in the AP poll, let's see if they can play like one and hold onto it. It was roughly around this point in the 2006 season that team quietly began making noise. Will the same be true here?
It will be if we see Harrison Barnes named ACC Rookie of the Week more often. After Reggie Bullock received the honor last week, Barnes joined his classmate by leading the Heels in scoring versus Miami and NC State. In Coral Gables, Barnes was clutch scoring the final five points for UNC. In the game against NC State, it was simply great play not to mention the effort and intensity. Seeing this kind of basketball from Barnes through the final ten games of the regular season will be instrumental in lifting UNC to the top of the ACC and a high seed in the NCAA Tournament.