North Carolina Basketball: Tar Heels Must Not Stumble

By Gregory Philson
James Michael McAdoo
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

North Carolina has more than proved that it is built to beat any team in the country after picking up its third top-25 victory over Kentucky on Saturday. The Tar Heels played at a fast pace throughout, got major contributions from J.P. Tokoto and James Michael McAdoo and figured out a way to slow down super-freshman Julius Randle.

However, coach Roy Williams‘ Tar Heels have been in this same position earlier this season after defeating then-no. 3 Louisville and fell to the University of Alabama-Birmingham in the very next game. That reason alone should emphasize the importance of this week’s games against Texas on Wednesday and Davidson on Saturday.

These games look to be mismatches in North Carolina’s favor on paper. Texas does not hold the same prestige it once did, and Davidson is not a team built for upsets this season. These two games may actually show what kind of team North Carolina really is. Guard Marcus Paige is one of the best players in the nation. He scored 23 points against Kentucky, with 21 coming in the second half.

His leadership will be on full display and if UNC wipes the floor or flops this week, he will be responsible.

McAdoo must continue to play like he did against Kentucky. If McAdoo and Paige lead and the remainder of the team continues to fill other gaps when needed, Carolina should not slip this week. If the Tar Heels do, it will be back to the drawing board because despite the upsets this season, there may still be questions left to answer before ACC play begins.

Gregory T. Philson is an ACC college basketball writer at Follow him on Twitter @GTPhilson, “Like” him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.


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