A rebuilding year in Chapel Hill?

The Tar Heels have young talent and must replace four first-round picks

Updated: September 12, 2012, 12:56 PM ET
By Matt Giles, Paul Biancardi and Joe Lunardi | ESPN Insider
James Michael McAdooScott Rovak/US PresswireJames Michael McAdoo will be asked to elevate his game and help lead UNC in 2012.

Leading up to Midnight Madness in October, ESPN Insider's "Countdown to Madness" series is previewing the top five seeds in each of the four regions in Joe Lunardi's preseason 2013 NCAA bracket. To read about the key stats and freshman impact for each team as the previews are published, plus get expert predictions from Jay Bilas, Fran Fraschilla and Lunardi, click here. This is the entry for the North Carolina Tar Heels, No. 3 in the West (Los Angeles).

The key: Perimeter defense

Stat to know: 18.3 percent

After the Elite Eight loss to Kansas last March, four Tar Heels left Chapel Hill for the NBA, and a team that entered last season as a national title favorite has evolved into a squad riddled with question marks for the 2012-13 season. The Heels are young -- nine of the 12 players are either freshmen or sophomores -- and with big men John Henson and Tyler Zeller gone, the squad's defining strength will likely be perimeter defense.

Joe Lunardi | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com