There was a time last offseason when the immediate future of the North Carolina basketball program was determined in an off-campus apartment in Chapel Hill.
Having come off a tumultuous but ultimately successful season (29-8, ACC regular-season title, Elite Eight appearance), the Tar Heels were on the verge of looking drastically different for the 2011-12 season.
Tar Heels say no to NBA, yes to national title?
The Asheville Citizen-Times
The ACC has another overwhelming favorite, and this time it's North Carolina.
The Tar Heels, who return five starters from their Elite Eight team, received 57 of 59 first-place votes in the preseason poll conducted Wednesday at ACC Operation Basketball.
North Carolina overwhelming favorite in preseason ACC poll
The Fayetteville Observer
Now that 19-year-old Harrison Barnes finally has a license, the driver's seat suits him better.
Barnes, who didn't feel like he needed a license as a high school upperclassmen or college freshman, obtained one this summer. He transported himself and North Carolina teammate John Henson to Charlotte for ACC Operation Basketball on Wednesday, when both players accounted for all of the Preseason Player of the Year votes.
ACC Notebook: Barnes, Heels in driver's seat
The Fayetteville Observer
The word "drive" comes up a lot these days when you talk to Harrison Barnes, the North Carolina sophomore forward who just might be the best player in college basketball.
Barnes, the ACC's rookie of the year last season, has packed about 15 more pounds of muscle onto his 6-foot-8 frame and now weighs close to 225.
Tar Heels' Barnes wants to 'do something special'
The Charlotte Observer
One thing will die this Saturday at Death Valley in Clemson: The Tigers' national title aspirations or North Carolina's realistic hope of playing in the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship Game.
No. 8 Clemson (7-0, 4-0 ACC), even with three impressive wins in the bank (Auburn, Florida State and Virginia Tech), will need an undefeated season to claim that it deserves the chance to play for the title more than Stanford, or the winners of the Big Ten and Big XII, all of which could finish unbeaten.
The Tar Heels (5-2, 1-2) need victories and help to win the Coastal Division.
ACC Notebook: Clemson seeks to keep momentum against UNC
The Rocky Mount Telegram
Clemson comes in unbeaten and ranked eighth in the country after rallying for a 56-45 victory at Maryland. The Tigers are 4-0 in the conference and lead the Atlantic Division. At 1-2 in the ACC, the Tar Heels need a victory to maintain their slim Coastal Division hopes.
UNC Insider: Tar Heels face season's toughest test
Fox Sports South
nother week, another talented defensive front takes on Clemson.
When hosting North Carolina Saturday, the Clemson offensive line will face perhaps its greatest test of the season.
The North Carolina front includes 6-6, 290-pound defensive end Quinton Coples, who is projected as an early first-round pick in next year's draft, and athletic bookend pass rusher Donte Paige-Moss.
Tar Heels put on a big front
The Columbia State