North Carolina is Atlantic Coast Conference basketball country and Fridayís tip off opens the door for all the drama and suspense that every ACC basketball season brings.
Be careful college basketball fans. This yearís crop of ACC teams might yield a different crop of winners and losers. This is my prediction of the top five teams in the conference.
4. Florida State:
In the last four years, the Seminoles have not only put together NCAA tournament teams, but also knocked off NCAA tournament staples like North Carolina, Duke and NC State. I see that trend continuing under the strong leadership and recruiting of head coach Leonard Hamilton.
3. Duke: This is a shocker for some, but to those looking at the program, it seems just about the right place. Duke has guards all over the roster, but the 2012 teamís inside presence is unknown. The only proven inside force for the Blue Devils is Mason Plumlee and in large part, how he fairs this year will determine how successful the team is.
Duke will continue to have 3-point shooters all over the court, but need to search for a consistent inside force to balance the team. Is this a championship team? No one knows. When it comes to head basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski, there is no one better at winning with the talent that he has.
2. North Carolina Tarheels:
James Michael McAdoo flashed moments of brilliance last season as a freshman and looks to continue that in his ascension to a starting role. Leslie McDonald and Dexter Strickland return from injury and freshman point guard Marcus Paige takes the reins as the leader of this team. A strong inside presence by McAdoo gives this team an opportunity to make a deep run in the tournament.