Do not look at the North Carolina Tar Heels as a disappointment. The only reason you would do such a thing is because your expectations are so high for the program because they are, well, North Carolina. But, in actuality, the Tar Heels’ record doesn’t indicate how solid of a team they truly are. And that’s what they are, solid, but not great. Not that there is anything wrong with being solid. Solid gets you an at-large birth in the NCAA tournament, especially in a year where there is very few really good teams.
However, it is still hard to figure out this team. James Michael McAdoo came into the season with high expectations put on him. Many figured he would be an NBA Lottery pick type player. While still possibly true, because of the lack of lottery players coming out this year, McAdoo is clearly not as good as people hoped. Like the team, McAdoo is solid but not great.
None of that matters at the end of the day. All that matters is whether or not they’re going to make the NCAA tournament, which I think they are going to do fairly easily. Again, not because they are great, and not really because they are solid, but because their remaining ACC schedule dictates a road that ends up with the Tar Heels being a 10 seed (An arbitrary number really).
The rest of their schedule does have rather solid teams on it. The schedule isn’t favorable because it has cupcakes on it. No, in fact it has a bunch of teams who are rather good and have a better than average shot to make the dance themselves. But with tough games left leave the Tar Heels in a position where they can bolster their resume, which is something they need to do after a two game losing streak.
Yet, the schedule isn’t only full of RPI boosters, it also has a few gimme games in there as well. This gives North Carolina the perfect balance of resume and confidence building going forward. A young team, which the Tar Heels are, needs as much confidence going forward because of the pressure that the tradition North Carolina hoops puts on them.
Maybe I just can’t fathom a North Carolina team not making the NCAA tournament. It could be that I really believe that the youth they have will translate to better hoops as the season goes on.
More than likely, however, I think that a favorable schedule doesn’t always mean cupcakes on the docket, and despite its losing streak, North Carolina is starting to play its best hoops of the season.
Joe is a Senior Writer for Rant Sports who primarily covers the Catholic Seven. For the love of Sam Cassell, follow Joe on the Twitter Machine @JosephNardone