I’m here sitting on my couch watching bracket breakdowns. I also watched the North Carolina Tar Heels suffer a tough loss against the Florida State Seminoles earlier this afternoon, but I can’t say that I’m upset. I don’t think other fans out there should be upset either because the North Carolina Tar Heels accomplished everything that they needed to heading into the weekend.
Call it the “Coach Cal” philosophy, but the Heels were pretty much guaranteed a No. 1 or 2 seed. They were not going to bump Syracuse or Kentucky from the top two overall seeds so they just needed to maintain their current seeding. The biggest threat to stealing that No. 1 seed was Duke. When they went down in the conference semifinal, the selection committee probably locked North Carolina into one of the four top seeds. Mission accomplished.
Secondly, and this was my favorite part about these last three games, the North Carolina Tar Heels got a lot of burn for their bench players. Of course John Henson’s wrist injury pushed James Michael McAdoo into action (when is he going to decide on which of his first names he wants to by?), but the minutes were invaluable nonetheless. In addition to McAdoo, P.J. Hairston, Justin Watts and Stillman White got extended minutes. The rotation over the next six games is going to be short, but Hairston and McAdoo will see some important minutes during the NCAA Tournament and their extended PT this weekend should provide some confidence. Again, mission accomplished.
I know there are plenty of people a bit bent out of shape about the North Carolina Tar Heels’ second loss to the ‘Noles this season, but my message to them is that it is not a big deal. They maintained their seeding, allowed some important bench pieces to gain some experience and avoided serious injury (knock on wood). Some people might say it’s arrogance, but when you reach the status of programs like the Kentucky Wildcats, Kansas Jayhawks and North Carolina Tar Heels, the three-letter tournaments just don’t matter that much.
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