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Hope and concern: North Carolina

6/7/2011

The hope and concern series continues today with North Carolina ...

Biggest reason for hope: Offensive and defensive lines

The Tar Heels are similar to Miami in that they’re going to be strong up front, but North Carolina could be the best in the ACC. Offensively, this could be the best line the Tar Heels have seen since Butch Davis was hired. None of the players in the two-deep is under 305 pounds (the starting lineup averages 319 pounds), and eight of the top 10 linemen return, including three starters from last season’s roster. Defensively, all four starters return, including defensive end Quinton Coples, Tydreke Powell and Donte Paige-Moss – all players who should be first-team all-conference candidates.

Biggest reason for concern: The neverending NCAA investigation

Uncertainly still looms over Chapel Hill, as the NCAA investigation has yet to come to a close, and one of the best players in the ACC, Coples, is the latest to be interviewed by the NCAA. The possibility of sanctions remains, and while university officials have voiced their support for Davis, that could become increasingly difficult to do once the NCAA has made its ruling.

More in this series: