The preseason Associated Press top 25 poll was released this afternoon, and the North Carolina Tar Heels are the 19th-best team in the country. Just one season ago the Heels were ranked in the number one spot, but a lot of attrition, a lot of newcomers, and yes, a lot of distrust likely led to Hubert Davis’ squad earning a bit less faith than the 2022-23 season.
When looking at the rest of the AP poll, Kansas earned the #1 spot in the rankings, followed by Duke, Purdue, Michigan State, and Marquette to round out the top five. Connecticut, the reigning national champions, are right behind Marquette at number six. Aside from Duke, the only other ACC team to join the Tar Heels in the top 25 is Miami, who managed to make it to the Final Four last season before losing to the Huskies.
As mentioned earlier, the Tar Heels have a completely different look than they had a year ago. The only two starters left on the team are RJ Davis and Armando Bacot, and Hubert Davis brought in Cormac Ryan, Paxson Wojcik, Jae’Lyn Withers, Harrison Ingram, and James Okonkwo to fill out the roster. Davis also brought in touted freshmen Elliot Cadeau and Zayden High, so while there are a lot of good pieces on this team, nobody really knows how everything will gel together. It’s also traditionally tough to put too much stock into a freshman starting point guard, but Cadeau is easily the most talented incoming point guard the Heels have had since Kendall Marshall. The Heels’ ranking is fair, but it would be hard arguing anybody that said they should be higher or lower because there are just a lot that we don’t know about this team yet.
I’d like to know what all of you think about UNC’s ranking. Do you think they’re too high? Too low? Also, what are your expectations for the 2023-24 season? Let us know in the comments below.