The No. 24 North Carolina Tar Heels were reeling after their upset at the hands of the Ohio Valley Conference’s Belmont Bruins. Rumors circulated that maybe UNC was overrated and didn’t deserve their top-15 preseason ranking. However, the Tar Heels got a much-needed win against the feisty Richmond Spiders by a score of 82-72.
The win over a mid-level A-10 team might not seem like much to onlookers, but it’s huge in terms of confidence for North Carolina. The Tar Heels had to be feeling down after taking back the lead at the end of the Belmont game, only to watch it slip away again. After the win against Richmond, don’t expect UNC to slow down any time soon.
In two games, North Carolina faces the No. 1 Michigan State Spartans. Michigan State plays both the Mount Saint Mary’s Gaels and the Oklahoma Sooners before they play UNC and should roll over both. The Spartans have looked unstoppable after beating the Kentucky Wildcats, but could be overconfident coming into the game against the Tar Heels.
UNC has the talent and the opportunity to win this game if they can stop Michigan State’s offense. Against Richmond, they let Cedrick Lindsay score 29 points. If any player on the Spartans’ was to get 29 points, there is no way they would come out of the game with a win. North Carolina must focus on defense and not be relaxed.
North Carolina has lost some of their luster after losing to Belmont, but that loss had more to do with Belmont’s talent than UNC’s lack of it. A win against the No. 1 Spartans could ignite the Tar Heels to beocme the team that we thought they were before the season began, instead of the average team they threaten to be.