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.