UNC Basketball: 1-7 Versus Top 25

That says it all, the top line. However, UNC Tar Heels have mostly won the games they were expected to win over last season. The Tar Heels were a young team. Everybody knew that. Roy Williams need to focus on that this next season.

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It hurts UNC’s reputation a bit over this last season. I’m not going to lie. The Tar Heels are known as being a national powerhouse. They’re a brand name. Dean Smith, Michael Jordan, Rasheed Wallace, Vince Carter, Antawn Jamison, James Worthy; these are big names in basketball lore. Everybody knows who the Tar Heels are. When they go 1-7 versus the top 25 in the nation, most people are watching.

Indiana, NC State, Miami, Dook, Miami, Dook, Kansas; they lost to all the aforementioned. The Tar Heels beat UNLV, who were ranked 20th at the time. It was a solid win, but seriously: Dook twice, Miami twice, NC State? That’s five losses (excluding the ACC championship loss) in just the Tar Heels’ conference. Not only did UNC struggle against top 25 teams, they were also in their conference.

So why does this matter? It matters because they diminish confidence. When UNC loses to teams that are so-called ‘better’ than them, it becomes a mental block. When the Tar Heels face off with a number-one seed like Kansas in March, does that play a role? I’m sure it does. I’m sure the fact that UNC remembered Bill Self knocking them out last year—remembering of course, that Kendall Marshall was injured—especially when they hadn’t knocked off many big teams.

Of course, something should be noted for the fact that Chapel Hill beat most of the teams they were supposed to. It’s an important aspect to the season. However, 1-7 against top 25 teams and five of those losses against in-conference opponents? Roy needs to focus on this next season. Confidence and chemistry comes with experience, but it needs to be something UNC pays attention to.

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  • William Davis

    Most of the losses were before the lineup shift; additionally, some of the losses (Duke first game, for example) should have been wins and were in any case toss-ups. The Miami games, obviously, not so much.

    I’m not claiming they became/were a top 10 team, but by year-end they were in the mid-teens. Not too shabby for a team with such youth and lack of game experience.