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By NC College Beat Staff
With the upcoming spring semester, NC College Beat decided now would be a good time to take a look at how the college basketball season is going for schools across the Hoop State. Below, we’ve taken each of the 18 Division I basketball programs in North Carolina and ranked them based on how their teams are performing this season.
1. UNC Greensboro (9-5, 4-2 SoCon)
UNCG started off the season slow with a 1-3 record, but have now won three conference games in a row and remain dangerous in a very competitive Southern Conference.
2. UNC Chapel Hill (8-5, 3-3 ACC)
The Tar Heels are nowhere near meeting their expectations for this season after bringing in one of the top-ranked recruiting classes in the nation this year. The team seemed to be righting the ship after three hard-fought ACC wins in a row before a narrow loss to Florida State last Saturday.
3. Duke University (5-4, 3-2 ACC)
Coach K’s squad that is typically thought of as being a perennial contender in the ACC has really struggled this season despite bringing in a highly ranked freshman class. The Blue Devils were blown out at home earlier by Illinois earlier in the season and now have lost two ACC games in a row.
4. Davidson College (8-5, 4-2 Atlantic 10)
Davidson got attention earlier in the season after a gutsy performance in the Maui Invitational nearly brought down the Texas Longhorns, who would go on to win the tournament. Since then, Davidson has had some really impressive showings in Atlantic 10 matchups.
5. UNC Asheville (8-6, 7-2 Big South)
The preseason runner-ups in the Big South have been consistently good in conference play and are currently on a four-game winning streak.
6. North Carolina State University (6-4, 2-3 ACC)
The Wolfpack came out the gates out hot with a 6-1 record including a rivalry win over UNC. After that, they dropped three ACC matchups in a row before postponing their next two games because of COVID-19-related issues.
7. Appalachian State University (10-5, 4-2 Sun Belt)
App State’s record may show the team to be a little better than they actually are, due to a very easy non-conference schedule, save for a blowout loss against Tennessee. The team has had some good conference wins as of late, however.
8. Western Carolina University (7-5, 0-3 SoCon)
Western Carolina has shown its toughness this season by playing to overtime in four games this season and winning all of them. The Catamounts have lost their first three conference games but all in close losses.
9. Campbell University (8-8, 4-5 Big South)
The Fighting Camels started out the season strong by going 4-0 and winning the Dolphin Classic, but since then they’ve been shaky in conference play.
10. East Carolina University (7-3, 1-3 AAC)
The Pirates have some quality wins this season but won’t be much of a threat in an American Athletic Conference that is packed with good teams.
11. UNC Charlotte (6-6, 2-2 CUSA)
The one word to describe Charlotte this season would be inconsistent. Case in point: In their latest back-to-back against Alabama Birmingham, the 49ers lost the first game by 24 points and won the second by 15. They have a good win against Davidson this season but also a very bad loss to Division II Belmont Abbey.
12. Wake Forest University (3-5, 0-5 ACC)
The Demon Deacons have found themselves to be the punching back of the ACC so far this season, having even a worse conference record than 3-10 Boston College.
13. UNC Wilmington (6-5, 0-2 CAA)
Wilmington started the season out fine but after postponements because of COVID-19 and two losses in a row, the Seahawks haven’t won a game since Dec. 23.
14. North Carolina A&T State University (5-9, 2-0 MEAC)
The Aggies began the season with an abysmal 3-9 record, but won their first two conference games against South Carolina State. Unfortunately, their past four games have been postponed.
15. Elon University (3-3, 0-2 CAA)
The Elon Phoenix are another team that have been plagued by COVID-19 postponements and haven’t played a game since Jan. 3. They also haven’t won a game since Dec. 16.
16. Gardner-Webb University (3-9, 2-5 Big South)
Gardner Webb played a pretty tough non-conference schedule which piled onto their losses, but they also haven’t played well in conference matchups either.
17. High Point University (3-7, 1-4 Big South)
High Point hasn’t had much to show at all this season despite being coached by former national champion Tubby Smith.
18. North Carolina Central University (1-3, 0-0 MEAC)
NC Central hasn’t played a game since Dec. 16, where they narrowly lost to UNC by six points. ●
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