North Carolina Tar Heels predictions for the 2024 calendar year

Before we officially ring in the new year, here are some predictions for North Carolina Tar Heels Athletics for the 2024 calendar year.

Live Action with Carolina Basketball
Live Action with Carolina Basketball / Grant Halverson/GettyImages

Ah, another year in the books.

The "Jordan Year" had its fair share of ups and downs, but hey, it was another year of experiences and challenges that will help us as we head into the new year.

With the book 2023 about to close, it's time to start getting ready for all the possibilities of what 2024 can offer. As we start to look ahead, we can't help but make some predictions about what we expect to see during the new year.

-One of the biggest storylines of 2023 was the struggles of the UNC basketball program, as they went from preseason No. 1 to not even making the NCAA Tournament. The Tar Heels will find their way back into the tournament this go around, as they'll enter as a No. 3 seed and will make a run into the Elite 8.

-RJ Davis will decide to "run it back" one more time, as the Tar Heels will be primed to compete for a title in 2024-2025. Armando Bacot will be taken in the second round of the NBA Draft, as he'll look to prove that there is still room for traditional big men in the league.

-While we're on the topic of basketball, Courtney Banghart and the UNC women's basketball squad will host a home game to kick off this year's NCAA Tournament. This is something that the Tar Heels have been aspiring to do (and should've had the opportunity to do in 2023, but hey, I'm biased), but Carmichael Arena will be rocking as North Carolina looks to make a strong NCAA Tournament run.

-Deja Kelly will wrap up her UNC women's basketball career as she'll go on to be drafted by the Los Angeles Sparks in the 2024 WNBA Draft. What better place for Kelly to kick off her professional career than in LA, where she'll absolutely thrive both on and off the court.

-Fellow senior star Alyssa Ustby won't leave Chapel Hill just yet, as she'll return for her fifth and final season of eligibility. Ustby will help anchor a Tar Heels' squad that will be very talented and has the potential to be one of the nation's best.

-The field hockey community will start to get tired of Erin Matson, as she'll bring home her second consecutive national championship as a coach. Ryleigh Heck will continue to challenge her head coach's playing resume, as she'll secure another National Player of the Year title as she guides the Tar Heels back to the promise land.

-Scott Forbes and the UNC baseball program have high expectations heading into this year, as a trip to the Super Regional is more than possible. Vance Honeycutt will look like the player he was as a freshman, as the Kansas City Royals will take a chance on him with the No. 6 overall pick in the 2024 MLB Draft.

-After both UNC soccer programs fell in the NCAA Quarterfinals, both teams will be back with a vengeance. Don't be surprised if they both make runs to the Final Four, as the heartbreaking losses they suffered at the end of 2023 will be the motivation they need to re-write the narrative.

-The UNC softball program will be the most improved team on campus, as Megan Smith Lyon will see some early success in her first season at the helm. A over-.500 season is in the cards for Mike Schall and the UNC volleyball program as well, as the team will make tremendous strides in his second year as the head coach.

Of course, how could we not talk about football and the state of the ACC?

The UNC football program has plenty of question marks heading into 2024, but Omarion Hampton is certainly not one of them. Hampton, in his final season as a Tar Heel, will be a Heisman Trophy finalist before he heads to the NFL.

In terms of the ACC, Florida State will crack the code, essentially leading to the demise of the conference and the Grant of Rights. The Tar Heels will be one of the programs that follows the Seminoles out of the conference, as the SEC and Big Ten will be clamoring to add North Carolina to its conference. In the end, Bubba Cunningham and the university decide the SEC is the right fit for North Carolina moving forward.

Of course, as nice as all of this sounds, our biggest prediction is that the 2024 year is good to each and every one of you. We predict that 2024 will be the best year yet, and we know that you'll continue to support our Keeping It Heel team through everything the new year has planned for us.

Happy New Year, and of course, GO HEELS!