The calender has moved to 2013. That means conference play in College Basketball is starting for most conferences in the country. It’s one of the most crucial times of the year because conference play can make or break your hopes for the NCAA Tournament.
For the North Carolina Tar Heels, it’s a chance to prove they are better than what they have shown so far this season.
The year 2012 was full of disappointment for the Tar Heels. They suffered a heartbreaking loss at home to Duke, suffered injuries to key players like Dexter Strickland, Kendall Marshall and Jon Henson that ultimately led to their exit in the Elite Eight.
Following the tournament loss to Kansas, Carolina learned that they would lose four starters to the NBA Draft. Still a new season was on the horizon and their were positive things to build off of. The Tar Heels did win the ACC Regular Season Title for the second straight year, they returned key players like Dexter, James Michael McAdoo, Leslie McDonald, Reggie Bullock and PJ Hairston. They also welcomed in a talented recruiting class led by Marcus Paige.
Although the Tar Heels suffered three losses in 2012 to kickoff this season, they have shown they can play good Basketball and get on a winning streak.
So what does the year 2013 bring the Tar Heels?
Like stated before, 2013 brings the Tar Heels the chance to prove what they are worth in ACC conference play. This is key to the Tar Heels success and ultimate road to the NCAA Tournament. A solid record in ACC play and the Tar Heels are likely to find themselves as high as a number three seed or as low as say a nine seed in the tournament.
Going into conference play at 10-3 the Tar Heels still have something to prove. Can they remain in the top 3 in the ACC? Are they good enough to beat Duke?
The Tar Heels 2013 ACC schedule features it’s normal two games with Duke, ending in a home showdown with the number one Blue Devils on March 9th.
Currently the only ranked teams the Tar Heels play in the ACC are Duke and rivals North Carolina State who sit at number 23 entering ACC conference play. After conference play is all said and done, the Tar Heels still have two tournaments. The ACC Tournament and the NCAA Tournament, their goal is to win both.
Looking forward to next season, the Tar Heels boost another talented recruiting class. A combination of this year and next years classes could give the young Tar Heels the edge they need to return to greatness. It also wouldn’t hurt if key role players from this season return as well.
The later part of 2013 won’t feature conference play for Carolina, but it will provide some intriguing match ups for them. A good non-conference record would be ideal for the Tar Heels heading into the 2014 part of their season next year.
Next season could be a great one for the Tar Heels and an end to an impressive 2013 year if all goes right.