If he were to stay, as well as Hansborough, I agree that UNC will be a contender again, but less clearly dominant than they potentially were this year.
And if Lawson leaves, it really doesn't make a lot of sense for Hansbrough to stay (from an NBA perspective, that is) because (as good as he genuinely is) he benefited dramatically from Wright's presence this year (and Lawson's, getting him the ball in great locations). I know that he's a sophomore and seems like a 4 year guy, but he's also 22 years old later this year.
I think, and have thought for awhile, that all 3 are probably gone, but Lawson and Hansbrough should probably link their decisions together, at least from a practical standpoint.
If all 3 should leave (and don't forget Terry and Miller) Carolina will be a borderline Top-25 team at best, though it'll be a safer year (than we had this year) to be down in the ACC since so many other teams lose key seniors as well. I personally believe that Duke, even without Patterson, will be as deep as UNC was this year and while I wouldn't predict National Championship (until 2009), they'll be top 10 caliber by the middle of the year. If Thomas and/or Zoubek were to develop lean bulk/strength (which is certainly within the realm of possibility), Duke could be a serious sleeper next year.
Even if Lawson and Hansbrough stay, I see the two teams as competing fairly evenly for the ACC title.
In any event, I'm looking forward to next year as we'll have so many players who have the potential to develop in exciting ways. And if Patterson were to come, I think we definitely have a place for him to be successful right away, develop, and possibly win some championships!
Sorry to be so optimistic (and I could certainly be wrong, but I really don't think I'm being crazy), but UNC blowing a lead to miss the Final Four works a certain magic, if you know what I mean. :0)
Alison, Lindsey, thank you and no regrets!!!!!! Go Devils!!!!!! GTHCGTH!!!!!!