If we know anything about the 2012-2013 ACC basketball season, we know that it will begin with unique expectations marked by North Carolina's step back and the well-chronicled resurgence of NC State.
Though their status as the team to beat is certainly debatable, the Wolfpack absolutely represents the best chance in recent memory for a team other than North Carolina or Duke to win the ACC title outright, something that has not happened since Wake Forest did it in 2003.
The level of talent returning for the Tar Heels should not be lost when previewing the 2012-2013 season—Carolina possesses a deeper collection of highly recruited talent than any team in the conference.
Given the lower than usual expectations and the increasing level of nationwide attention given to N.C. State, the season is a tremendous opportunity for Carolina to experience an unusual year—one in which they exceed expectations rather than meet them or fall short.
Carolina entered such a season in 2009-2010 amidst much anticipation—which they validated with an emphatic early victory over Michigan State—before falling apart mid-season and missing the NCAA tournament. I have already written on why the same result will not plague the 2012-2013 season. Here are five bold predictions for the relatively under-the-radar Tar Heels.