North Carolina Tar Heels: 22-9, 11-7 in the ACC

Head coach: Roy Williams (15th season)

Players to watch: Luke Maye (17.7 PPG, 10.1 RPG, 46.3 3PT%); Joel Berry II (17.8 PPG, 1.1 SPG); Theo Pinson (9.9 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 4.7 APG)

Season recap: After the Tar Heels returned only one of their top five scorers (Joel Berry II) from their 2016-17 national championship team, it was clear that former role players like Luke Maye would need to step up. The junior forward has done just that—Maye has become a Wooden Award Finalist and leads the ACC in both total rebounds and 3-point percentage.

North Carolina leads the ACC in virtually every offensive category thanks to its fast pace of play: points per game, field goals made and attempted, total rebounds and offensive rebounds, and it is still the best team on the boards in the conference despite not starting anybody taller than 6-foot-8.

At first glance, North Carolina’s 22-9 record does not seem strong enough to warrant a top-three seed in the NCAA Tournament. However, the Tar Heels rank first in strength of schedule and third in the RPI rankings. North Carolina has managed to topple eight teams in the RPI top 50, and has only fallen to two teams outside of that group in N.C. State and Wofford. 

Overall, the Tar Heels are a bit of a wild card for the postseason. The offensive duo of Maye and Berry is among the strongest inside-outside pairs in the country and is certainly able to carry North Carolina deep into the conference tournament and the NCAA tournament, but if the Tar Heels go cold from the perimeter, they could also lose to anybody. 

How they make a run: If the Tar Heels can control the pace and work it inside to Maye or run it through the high post to Theo Pinson, Roy Williams may be able to bring home his second ACC Tournament championship in the last three years.