With AP preseason top 25 unveiled Monday, how do national observers see UNC stacking up?

By R.L. Bynum

What’s the national view of North Carolina’s place in the men’s basketball landscape heading into Hubert Davis’ first season as head coach?

The view of Carolina varies, but the consensus is that Gonzaga is the preseason No. 1 and Duke will be the highest-ranked ACC team.

The Blue Devils likely will be the preseason pick to win the ACC, and that voting will be revealed Tuesday at 9 a.m. on ACC Network during the “Packer and Durham” show. Duke was last picked to win the ACC in 2019–20, when it finished second.

The Blue Devils last won the regular-season title after being picked to win it in 2009–10, and were picked first in 2010–11, 2013–14, 2014–15, 2017–18, 2018–19 and 2019–20.

Also revealed on “Packer and Durham” will be the preseason All-ACC team, the preseason player of the year and the preseason rookie of the year. Expect Duke forward Paolo Banchero to be the rookie pick and possibly the player-of-the-year selection.

While we wait for the preseason AP poll to come out at noon Monday, here are how some national observers rank teams heading into the season:

In CBS Sports’ preseason rankings, UNC is No. 20 and Duke is No. 15.


ESPN’s Top 25 prediction has the Tar Heels No. 17 and the Blue Devils No. 11.

Busting Brackets puts Carolina at No. 17 and Duke at No. 8.

Ken Pomeroy, who takes an analytic approach, has the Tar Heels No. 40 in his initial rankings of the season, which is the sixth-highest among ACC teams.

He has Gonzaga at No. 1 and Duke at No. 10. Florida State comes in at No. 24, with Notre Dame at No. 27, Louisville at No. 36 and Virginia Tech at No. 39.


  1. Always better to be
    under-ranked than
    over-ranked in my
    opinion. Provides
    incentive to achieve
    more than expected.


  2. Anthony says:

    The Bottom Line….

    There will NEVER, EVER be anyone, anywhere, ever to replace the Dean Smith era, which includes Roy Williams. When he left due to “climate change”, so did College Basketball.

    It’s no longer a game of education but now it’s…can I get mine!

    So, so SAD. Coach K saw the writing on the wall

    What say you?


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