The college basketball season is less than four weeks away and for the UNC basketball program, the expectations are quite high.
After coming off of an National Championship Game appearance last season, the main core for UNC returns — Caleb Love, Armando Bacot, RJ Davis and Leaky Black.
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In addition, the Tar Heels also added Northwestern transfer Pete Nance to the mix.
All of that is good enough to have the Tar Heels sitting at No. 1 overall in the preseason AP Top 25 that came out this week. But, for another metric, North Carolina barely comes in the top 10.
According to KenPom’s initial rankings, UNC sits at No. 9. The Tar Heels are the second ranked ACC team behind Virginia. Kentucky sits atop the rankings.
How does the KenPom rankings work? This is how Ken Pomery describes his rankings and equations.
“The purpose of this system is to show how strong a team would be if it played tonight, independent of injuries or emotional factors. Since nobody can see every team play all (or even most) of their games, this system is designed to give you a snapshot of a team’s current level of play… I would describe the philosophy of the system as this: it looks at who a team has beaten and how they have beaten them. Same thing on the losses, also. Yes, it values a 20 point win more than a 5 point win. It likes a team that loses a lot of close games against strong opposition more than one that wins a lot of close games against weak opposition.”
Obviously with no games played to date this season, this is more on expectation of the schedule as it sits today.
Certainly North Carolina expects to be a better team than the No. 9 ranked teams in the country. These rankings tend to be a decent indicator of how teams stack up as the season gets deeper into non-conference and then into conference play.
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