I will be honest. I am really, really frustrated with this North Carolina basketball team right now. Here we are, sitting at 1-4 in the ACC, and it looks like to me that our record isn’t going to look any better any time soon.
You look at the game we played last night, UNC Virginia. The Tar Heels were in it! 32-29 UVA with 2:24 left in the first half! And then we all know what happened- UVA goes on a six point spurt to end the first half, and never lets UNC climb back into the ballgame. Chalk down another notch in the loss column for Carolina.
This game was particularly frustrating because I really thought the Heels were going to come out and play different than they had in the first three games of ACC play. Here was an opportunity on national television to right the ship! A chance to win a big game on the road against a very good Virginia team! Unfortunately, the Tar Heels on the court didn’t seem to share in my passion for winning last night.
One infuriating thing about this year’s Heels is UNC’s lack of improvement on any of the “trouble areas” they have encountered this season. After an entire season’s worth of hearing how bad UNC is at free throws, at some point, one would hope for some improvement. No such luck last night, as the Heels shot 5-12 from the charity stripe. Or what about the Heels three point shooting? Has to show some signs of improvement eventually, right? Not against UVA- 26.7% percent from beyond the arc.
All UNC needed to do at any point in the second half was to go on a 6 point run and they would be right back in it. But seemingly after every hint of a run, the Cavs put that thought to rest with a breakaway steal or a timely three pointer.
At this point in the season, the Tar Heels need to be the dominant team, the desperate team. The Heels should be squashing other teams runs with breakaway dunks and Brice Johnson screams! But nope. The Tar Heels just didn’t have the mental fire or desires that would have been necessary to win the ball game. And as a fan, its tough to cheer for that kind of team.
Who knows? Maybe next game will be “the game,” the game that turns around the season. Maybe next game the Heels will shoot 80% from the free throw line. Maybe next game Carolina will catch fire and make 10 threes. Maybe next game UNC will come out like a team that really wants to win an ACC basketball game. But then again, probably not.