North Carolina's Woes Continue in Loss to Virginia

By Jeremy Roth
NCAA Basketball: North Carolina at Virginia
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Well, the North Carolina Tar Heels are back to their losing ways.  After giving us all hope that they would take the win over Boston College and use the momentum to be successful in the ACC moving forward, the Tar Heels completely collapsed in their matchup against Virginia Monday night.  Not only did they lose, but they did not even give Virginia any sort of competition in the 76-61 loss.  Now the team is 11-7 on the season and 1-4 in the ACC with about zero momentum.

The Tar Heels began the game fairly strong and kept it close until the end of the first-half.  For some reason, once they started to gain momentum they seemed to give up and get lazy.  Their passes were being intercepted, they could not come down with a single rebound and they were leaving all of Virginia’s shooters wide open beyond the arc.  Virginia guard Joe Harris began the game with three straight threes, and as a team they made eight total.  Harris finished the game with 16 points and co-led the team along with Malcolm Brogdon. The Tar Heels just had no answer for Virginia’s shooting ability and ball movement.  It seemed like on every Virginia possession every single player in a Tar Heel uniform was completely lost whenever the ball moved around the court.  To sum this all up, the Tar Heels were a disaster.

James Michael McAdoo scored just 11 points, including the 1,000th point of his career, and Leslie McDonald was right behind him with just 10 points.  Are you wondering where Marcus Paige was during this game? Well, so was I.  He began the game with two quick fouls and went straight to the bench. He then came back into the game just to watch Harris drain threes in his face.  Paige finished the game with just nine points and was completely cold shooting-wise.  I cannot stress it enough, but if the Tar Heels are going to be successful then it starts in Paige’s hands.

There was actually a bright side to this game, believe it or not.  Kennedy Meeks came off the bench and led the Tar Heels with 15 points.  For a young player, it is nice to see that he can step up and perform at the top of his game when the rest of the team is not.  The team was 5-0 when Meeks scored in double-digits before this game, but I am just happy that somebody aside from Paige and McAdoo is scoring.  There is really no other player on the Tar Heels’ roster worth talking about from this poor performance.  The team as a whole shot just 41.3 percent from the field and once again had a poor free-throw shooting performance, going just 5-for-12.

It has become quite obvious that this is just not the Tar Heels’ year, but it would be nice if they actually played with the will to win. I mean, sometimes it doesn’t even look like they are trying out there.  If they play like they have given up already then why should their fans stick around and support them? It is just an embarrassing season for the team and Tar Heel fans, and it is definitely not working out how it should have.  They have the talent but just fail to execute time after time in games.  The Tar Heels get a couple days of practice before their next matchup against Clemson on Sunday, and if I were head coach Roy Williams, I would be starting to get very nervous about even being relevant come March.

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