One: North Carolina lost to Dook 73-68 this past Wednesday after leading at halftime, but the Tar Heels found an identity that can carry them the rest of the year depending on whether or not Coach Williams allows it. By limiting the rotation play was solid for forty minutes as the Tar Heels were a few made free throws away from upsetting Dook in Durham. PJ Hairston led the Tar Heels in rebounding, points and assist a feat not accomplished by anyone at UNC since John Henson back in 2010. The smaller line up added an offensive punch that has been lacking specifically at the start of games where UNC has been dominated before the first media time out during the four games prior to Dook.
Two: Shot selection is something that will not show up in a stat book, but if the Tar Heels want to slip past Virginia good shot selection is critical with the style of play the Wahoos impose on opponents. Virginia does as good a job as any team in the country forcing their tempo on opponents. Although college basketball has forty minutes of play the Cavaliers and the Tar Heels have a tortoise versus the hare approach to reaching the finishing line. North Carolina needs to build a lead early to force UVa out of its comfort zone. Any lead under ten and the Cavaliers will lull you to sleep where you suddenly realize there is three minutes to go and your lead slips away just as we saw happen to the Tar Heels in their trip to Virginia earlier this year.
Three: March Madness is about dreaming your favorite team cutting down the nets after capturing a national title. The idea of enjoying the ride to March and taking it one game at a time is lost concept in the sports world. Last week alone there were several message board posts created capping a ceiling on this year’s team calling for a first round or second round exit. Only one team will cut the nets down this year however I am going to enjoy watching this team until the final seconds tick off whether it is winning it all or losing early in the tournament. Taking for granted that the Tar Heels will be there every year is something I never get caught up in. This is a young team that has had bumps in the road as did the 2010 team that drove all of us nuts with their play. March is not guaranteed and if you don’t believe me just ask our friends over in Raleigh. Great basketball teams are not a birthright to North Carolina fans and to quote the legend Ferris Beuler: “Life Moves Pretty Fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Don’t miss out enjoying each and every season because you’re looking ahead to March.
Four: In case you haven’t kept up with the Diamond Heels North Carolina is ranked number one and Kent Emanual began the season with shutout win over Seton Hall. If you have a chance to visit Boshamer Stadium to catch a baseball game you will not regret it. The tar Heels have a realistic chance of returning to the college world series and with the pitching staff in place opposing hitters will not find Chapel Hill all that inviting this spring.