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The NCAA Tournament selection committee released the 68 teams in the field for the NCAA Tournament. The North Carolina Tar Heels are not one of them.
In failing to make the tournament, North Carolina made history. Not the good kind.
The almost made other history … except, they tied themselves.
Obviously, that makes the Tar Heels perfect candidates for the NIT. But, North Carolina believes it is above that inferior tournament.
North Carolina Tar Heels make history by missing NCAA Tournament
Other preseason number ones have had disappointing season. But none as disappointing as this one. Arguably, this is the most disappointing season in college basketball history.
As for other teams that struggled, 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. Outside of that, no other preseason No. 1 has ever gotten worse than a #5 seed.
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That’s incredible. Only one preseason number one ever got worse than a #5 seed in the NCAA Tournament. And North Carolina missed the tournament completely.
Following a “Cinderella” run in last year’s NCAA Tournament where the Tar Heels advanced to the National Championship game as an eight seed, expectations were high coming into this season.
Those expectations were warranted: they returned four of their starters from a team that finished as runner-up in NCAA Tournament. RJ Davis, Caleb Love, Armando Bacot and Leaky Black formed an impressive core.
They added Pete Nance from Northwestern via the transfer portal. And they missed the NCAA Tournament.
Who to blame? That’s easy.
The blame here falls squarely on head coach Hubert Davis.
Davis is Kevin Ollie 2.0. He’s a former player, below-average coach and replaced a legend (Roy Williams) at an elite basketball school.
Like Ollie, Davis had one incredible run with mostly said legend’s players. Unlike Ollie, Davis’ run did not end in a National Championship.
Ollie’s Huskies won the National Championship as a seven seed in 2014. The next season, UConn missed the NCAA Tournament. Sound familiar?
UConn reached the tournament the following season as a nine seed and lost in the second round. They did not reach the tournament in either of the next two seasons and Connecticut fired Ollie.
North Carolina has an opportunity to recognize the issues with Davis and make a quick move for a more proven coach capable of handling an elite program.
Learn from UConn and Kevin Ollie.
Don’t limp through several mediocre seasons before the inevitable.
Follow Dan Zaksheske on Twitter: @OutkickDanZ
One CommentLeave a Reply
I live at Ground Zero of the Triangle – UNC / NCState / Duke … I “get” that ABC means Anyone But Carolina, UNC fans are as obnoxiously faux-elite as most LibArts alum/fans are … which is why I have estranged myself from my alma mater / UNC. ,,, But the vitriol coming at UNC is as vicious as it usually is for “Duke”. …. does “America” HATE UNC as much as America HATES DUKE ??? … if so – Why do some many fans across the country watch UNC v Duke MBB games each year?