UNC Basketball: Tar Heels land in ESPN’s Way-Too-Early Top 25

CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 18: Head coach Roy Williams of the North Carolina Tar Heels reacts from the sideline against the Texas A
CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 18: Head coach Roy Williams of the North Carolina Tar Heels reacts from the sideline against the Texas A /

UNC lands in ESPN’s “Way-Too-Early” Top 25 rankings for the 2018-19 college basketball season

The Villanova Wildcats dominated the Michigan Wolverines en route to their second national championship in the past three years Monday night. With that win, the 2017-18 college basketball season is officially in the books and the countdown to October now begins.

Even though the season just ended, it’s never too early to take a look at the upcoming season.

Following Villanova’s win over Michigan, ESPN’s Myron Medcalf released his “Way-too-Early” Top 25 for the 2018-19 season. Yes, before the final Associated Press Top 25 for 2018 is out.

ESPN does it every year and while a lot can change from now until October, it’s still fun to see where your favorite team is in the rankings.

Medcalf’s Top 10 is has some of college basketball’s blue bloods with Kansas taking the No. 1 spot followed by No. 2 Duke, No. 3 Villanova, No. 4 Kentucky and No. 5 Auburn.

As for the Tar Heels, they cracked the Top 10 in Medcalf’s poll coming in at No. 9.

Medcalf notes the decision that Cameron Johnson will face as well as Luke Maye likely being a preseason All-ACC member. He also mentions the Tar Heels Top 10 recruiting class highlighted by Nassir Little and Coby White.

Here’s a little of what Medcalf wrote:

"Will Cameron Johnson (12.4 PPG, 4.7 RPG) return? He should — both to help his personal cause (his 3-point shooting clip dropped from 42 percent to 34 percent) and to pursue a national title. The Tar Heels will have the pieces to snatch another ring for Roy Williams. Three of the team’s top four scorers will return."

That’s a pretty fair assessment as UNC should compete for the ACC regular season title next year despite losing Joel Berry and Theo Pinson. As far as a deep tournament run, anything can still happen.

The Tar Heels were just outside of the Top 10 in SportingNews’ rankings,  at No. 12. SportingNews also mentions that UNC returns plenty of talent in Maye & Johnson.

Even with the rankings, there are still some question marks surrounding UNC. The biggest ones are at the point guard position and the development of post players for Williams’ team.

While UNC has a really good recruiting class coming in, they are still in the running for forward E.J. Montgomery. The five-star recruit is one of the top unsigned recruits left in the 2018 class.

Next: An early prediction of UNC's 2018-19 starting lineup

With months to go before we start seeing practice start this list will likely change quite a bit.