College Basketball Predictions: North Carolina Tar Heels Futures
by George Monroy - 10/4/2013
The North Carolina Tar Heels are coming off a disappointing season where the team finished with a 25-11 record and was eliminated in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The team has had a long history of success during the postseason and has made the Elite Eight five times during the last seven years. North Carolina’s last championship came in 2009, however. And even though the Tar Heels have been relatively successful over the last four years, head coach Roy Williams and his staff is not resting on the accomplishments of the past. North Carolina has a core of talented players that believe the team is good enough to win a championship this season.
The oddsmakers seem to agree that Coach Williams and his squad are championship material. The Tar Heels currently have the eight-best title odds at Sportsbook.ag and are on the short list of teams that could end the year hoisting a championship banner. Let’s take a closer look at the North Carolina Tar Heels and figure out just how good they will be this season.
North Carolina: +1800
There are not too many teams that are considered legitimate contenders to win a national title. The good news for North Carolina is that they are one of them. The team is not at the top of the list and will probably not be the best squad in the regular season—that distinction will go to either Kansas or Kentucky—but they are still one of the best teams in the nation. The Tar Heels are showing excellent value at +1800 and will be returning most of their players from last season, each with an additional year of experience and maturity under their collective belts.
North Carolina, however, will have a tougher-than-usual conference schedule with the additions of Syracuse, Notre Dame and Pittsburgh into the ACC. The conference was already one of the most talented in the nation with established schools like Duke, Wake Forest and Florida State already in the mix. The extra additions will only make navigating the ACC that more difficult. Duke is projected to win the conference and enter the tournament with a No. 1 seed. However, that is not necessarily a bad thing for North Carolina. The team does not need to be a top seed or one of the favorites to win the title and will probably do better with less pressure to succeed throughout the season. The Tar Heels are always a contender, and wagering on them to win the national title at +1800 looks like it could be a solid underdog wager.
North Carolina’s P.J Hairston had a difficult offseason and was arrested for possession of marijuana and may face gun chargers as well. According to Coach Williams, Hairston will miss multiple games at the beginning of the season. However, at this point no exact amount has been set. James Michael McAdoo, Marcus Paige, Leslie McDonald and Brice Johnson are all expected to be major contributors to the teams this season.
McAdoo is a 6-foot-9, 230-pound power forward with an excess of raw-talent and athleticism. Many experts are expecting McAdoo to make a huge talent-leap next season and become one of the best players in the nation. Last season the forward averaged 14.4 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game. The Tar Heels have a roster loaded with talent, and when Hairston returns from his suspension the team will only get better. Last season the shooting guard averaged 14.6 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game. Hairston is another one of those players that experts believe will improve this year and turn into a very good, if not star, player.
Read more articles by George Monroy
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