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Could Final Four run impact NBA decisions of UNC underclassmen?

The comparisons were inevitable once the preseason AP Top 25 was released with North Carolina holding the No. 1 spot.

How did this UNC team compare to the 2005 and 2009 squads that brought national titles to Chapel Hill? Was this year’s edition of the Tar Heels good enough to hang another banner in the Dean E. Smith Center?

There are a few similarities. Like the 2005 group, the team’s effort on the defensive end of the floor was questioned at times during the regular season before tightening up near the end. Then, of course, there’s the Marcus Paige storyline; Roy Williams’ description of how badly he wants the senior guard to win a national title almost echoes his wishes seven years ago that Tyler Hansbrough end his college career with a championship.

One major difference between this year’s team and those ‘05 and ‘09 rotations, however, is that this season there are no underclassmen who seem to be no-brainers to jump to the NBA early. Whether or not this Final Four run — one that could end with a national title — affects the decisions of those players remains to be seen.