North Carolina Tar Heels: Looking Back and Forward

By Jeremy Roth
North Carolina Tar Heels
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The North Carolina Tar Heels had a pretty calm week, but it ended with a major accomplishment, their first conference victory.

Yesterday, the Tar Heels defeated Boston College to earn their first ACC win of the season and are now 1-3 in the conference as they enter a week with two tough conference matchups. Tomorrow, they head out on the road to face the 13-5 Virginia Cavaliers, and then a week from today, they face off against a 13-4 Clemson squad that has already defeated the Tar Heels’ bitter rival, Duke. If the team plans on climbing back to the top in the ACC, then they must win both of these games.

In yesterday’s game against Boston College, we all saw just how important a full week of practice was to the young Tar Heel team. Marcus Paige once again showed us that he is a star at his position, scoring 21 points. James Michael McAdoo continued to show his true potential, and is finally playing like the star he was projected to be before he even stepped on the court for his freshman season. Both players have the ability to carry this team all the way into March, but the only way this will be possible is if they play just how they played yesterday. Although Paige and McAdoo lead the charge yesterday, they do not deserve all of the credit. Leslie McDonald received his first start of the season and knocked down two very clutch threes. His shooting game is key if the Tar Heels are going to be successful in the rest of their conference games. Kennedy Meeks came off the bench and scored a solid 10 points, proving once again that he is an up-and-coming asset for the Tar Heels. Not only did this past week show that the Tar Heels need their two stars in Paige and McAdoo to step up, but that they need an entire team effort in order to be successful.

Moving forward, the Tar Heels have their work cut out for them. Virginia and Clemson are two very talented teams in the ACC, and both games will be a huge challenge for a Tar Heel team that has their backs against the wall. Sure, it is nice that they have finally received their first conference win, but it is going to take many more if they plan on being successful in March, or to even be relevant in the month.

Every game from now on is a must win, and if the Tar Heels can come away with two wins this week, then they are right back on track on the ACC. Like always, only time will tell just how successful the Tar Heels can or will be in their upcoming conference schedule, but if they can carry the momentum they received in their win over Boston College yesterday, then this should not be a problem.

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