UNC Tar Heels Have Become the Second Best Team in the ACC

Justin CrawfordCorrespondent IFebruary 5, 2011

GREENSBORO, NC - DECEMBER 18:  Tyler Zeller #44 and John Henson #31 of the North Carolina Tar Heels block a shot by Jordan Hamilton #3 of the Texas Longhorns at Greensboro Coliseum on December 18, 2010 in Greensboro, North Carolina.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Tar Heels have improved enough this season to be named the second best team in the ACC. After struggling early, they have found their swagger and toughness all because they started hitting some shots.

After Reggie Bullock had that brilliant first half against Clemson, he has since played with more heart and emotion. That heart and emotion has led to more playing time and subsequently more offense.

Then Harrison Barnes pretty stroke started producing results, and he looks like a totally different player. Barnes will be vying for a second ACC Rookie of the Week on Monday after last night's performance.

Roy Williams finally switching up the starting lineup has led to the Heels vast improvement as well. Kendall Marshall has played solidly and, more importantly, the team has looked completely different.

Even though Marshall has not had a tremendous game starting, he has gotten the ball to people who could shoot when they needed to shoot. Furthermore, Larry Drew II has found his role coming off the bench and has played fantastic. He looks much better than he did as a starter.

The Heels may be the second best team in the ACC right now, but they have two tough games ahead that will show a little bit of what they are made of. Despite being blown out at Clemson, Florida State is not far behind the Heels, and could easily defeat them. The Seminoles desperately need another quality win, and will be fighting for it Saturday. 

UNC will follow that game with a trip to Durham to face the Blue Devils. It will be a tough test, and it is yet to be seen if the Heels are up to the task. If the last two games are any indication, they are ready to play.

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