The ACC’s wild card, the No. 12 North Carolina Tar Heels, took on the Belmont Bruins from the Ohio Valley Conference in a game that everyone expected UNC to win easily. The Bruins are a good team, but it seemed unlikely that the Tar Heels would fall at home in Chapel Hill to a Belmont team that had already lost to the Richmond Spiders.
However, that’s exactly what happened. Belmont outplayed North Carolina and deserved their hard fought 83 – 80 upset over the No. 12 team in the country. Belmont’s upset over UNC has left one thing on the mind of all college basketball fans – is North Carolina that bad or Belmont that good?
North Carolina was expected to compete with the Duke Blue Devils and the Syracuse Orange for the ACC regular season title, but, with the experience on the Orange and Duke’s not-so-secret weapon, Jabari Parker, stacked against them, UNC is going to fail miserably. However, this loss could be a wakeup call for the Tar Heels and motivate them for the future.
Belmont looked like a powerhouse team. There is no shame in North Carolina losing to a team that played that well. Although their win is perhaps the biggest upset of the season so far, their nonconference schedule provides them with chances of more upsets.
North Carolina isn’t a bad basketball team, they just lost focus against another extremely talented team. UNC will be trashed for the next few weeks for losing to the Bruins, but the loss will look better as the Bruins’ season goes on. Belmont still plays the VCU Rams and the Kentucky Wildcats – both of these teams should be very worried.