North Carolina Loses Again, In Serious Danger Of Reaching Horrible & Uncharted Territory

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The North Carolina Tar Heels are the biggest disappointment in college basketball. On Sunday, they lost again. This time, they fell at NC State, 77-69. The loss dropped them to 16-11, 8-8 in ACC play.

The Tar Heels have lost five of their past six games and are in danger of missing the NCAA Tournament. For a team that reached the National Championship game last season, returned nearly its entire core and came into the season ranked No. 1, that’s just unacceptable.

According to ESPN, the Tar Heels are 0-9 in Quad 1 games this season. Their best win came against Ohio State … in the middle of December. They also beat Clemson, who was ranked No. 20 at the time. Overall, they hold a 2-5 record against ranked teams.

The worst preseason No. 1 team entering the NCAA Tournament was the 2013-14 Kentucky Wildcats, according to Yahoo. They finished 24-10 and got an eight seed in the tournament. No other preseason No. 1 has ever gotten worse than a #5 seed.

The good (?) news for North Carolina is that Kentucky team reached the National Championship game. Plus, North Carolina entered last year’s tournament as a No. 8 seed and made a run to the title game where it lost to Kansas.

The bad news is that the Tar Heels are on pace to get no seed in the NCAA Tournament. While they have no losses outside of Quad 2, they just don’t have the wins to justify a tournament bid right now.

Caleb Love, one of four returning starters for North Carolina, knows how disappointing this Tar Heels season has been.
Caleb Love, one of four returning starters for North Carolina, knows how disappointing this Tar Heels season has been. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

But they still have an opportunity to get there. And the selection committee is certainly going to afford the Tar Heels some leniency.

They have home games against Virginia and Duke remaining. It’s hard to think those are anything but “must wins.” They need at least one, if not both.

But they could always sneak their way in by winning the ACC Tournament. The league is in the midst of a down season. Only No. 7 Virginia, No. 15 Miami and No. 23 North Carolina State are ranked.

Though, North Carolina sits in ninth place. A finish in eighth place or worse means the Tar Heels would have to win four games to capture the league tournament. If they manage to fall to 10th or worse, they’d have to win an additional game.

It’s not looking good for North Carolina, but the Tar Heels are still a dangerous team capable of going on a run.

Although, that run needs to start at some point.

Like pretty much right now.

Follow Dan Zaksheske on Twitter: @OutkickDanZ

Written by Dan Zaksheske

Dan began his sports media career at ESPN, where he survived for nearly a decade. Once the Stockholm Syndrome cleared, he made his way to Outkick. He is secure enough in his masculinity to admit he is a cat-enthusiast with three cats, one of which is named “Brady” because his wife wishes she were married to Tom instead of him.


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