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Happy Heels

SPECIAL TO ESPN.COM

June 17, 2008

Monday was a great day for college basketball and for the Tar Heels of North Carolina.

It was deadline day for underclassmen to decide if they wanted to pull out of the NBA draft. Hall of Fame coach Roy Williams had to be thrilled with the news that Ty Lawson, Wayne Ellington and Danny Green all decided to return to Chapel Hill. My friends, that is not good news for any Tar Heels opponents in 2008-09.

There were great celebrations down on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill.

Factor in the return of the big three, along with National Player of the Year Tyler Hansbrough and a super recruiting class and you can see why the Tar Heels will be numero uno in all of the upcoming preseason polls.

North Carolina will be the team to beat in my poll. With Hall of Famer Williams on the sidelines leading this talent, Hansbrough coming back, trying to win that gold trophy, and players with a wealth of experience, watch out!

There was more good news in Arizona with Chase Budinger deciding to return to school. Hall of Fame coach Lute Olson has to be on cloud nine. Now if Brandon Jennings can become eligible, the Wildcats will be tough.

UCLA has Darren Collison and Josh Shipp coming back. The Bruins also have one of the premier recruiting classes, so look for big things from Ben Howland and company again. They should be a dynamite team.

A.J. Abrams of Texas, Robert Dozier of Memphis, Robert Vaden of UAB, Jeremy Pargo of Gonzaga and Ronald Steele of Alabama all waited until the last day before opting for the college campus in 2008-09. College basketball got some good news as these kids made intelligent decisions instead of going to the NBA to sit on the pine next season.

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