North Carolina Tar Heels' Icy Road Trip May Be a Factor Against Georgia Tech

By Jeremy Roth
Marcus Paige
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Last night, the North Carolina Tar Heels were all ready to travel from Chapel Hill to Atlanta for their important ACC matchup against Georgia Tech, but the weather had other plans for them. The team’s chartered flight was delayed by two hours, and they did not land in Atlanta until around 11 p.m. ET.  Even though they landed safely at their destination, their journey was still far from over.

The bus that was supposed to pick the team up at the airport and bring them to the hotel was stuck in the interstate gridlock a long ways away from the airport, so the team was stuck until they could find a ride to the hotel. Finally, after hours of waiting, the team was able to take the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) train to their hotel, but it was only able to take them several blocks away. The team was forced to walk through the snowy streets to their hotel, and they did not arrive until about 1:30 a.m. ET.

During all of the craziness, Tar Heels guard Marcus Paige tweeted “I’m never gonna forget this”.  Paige, along with all of the other players and staff, were obviously fed up and exhausted as a result of this mayhem. Even when the team was all settled in the hotel, the madness was far from over. Rumors of the game being cancelled were circulating, but luckily the game is still going to be played at its normal time of 7 p.m. ET.

Road games have not been very friendly to the Tar Heels this season, as they have won just one out of five. In those four losses on the road, the team did not have to experience such travel difficulties that they faced in their trek to Atlanta. Now, an exhausted, young and struggling Tar Heels team must attempt to maintain their momentum against Georgia Tech, and who knows just how much of an impact their long night will have on the outcome?

On the bright side, Georgia Tech may be without a real home-court advantage because fans may not be able to make it to the game as a result of the weather. The game may possibly be played in front of a small crowd, so the Tar Heels may not have to worry about screaming fans trying to distract them.

Tonight’s game is one of the most vital games of the Tar Heels’ season because one more bad loss in the conference can result in the vanishing of their March Madness hopes. The team’s resilience and toughness will really be tested tonight, and the Tar Heels can prove their maturity to the nation if they can come out with a victory.

Hopefully, the madness in Atlanta will not cause them to become irrelevant in the madness of March, but only time will tell just how much of a factor this long and treacherous journey is in their hopes of maintaining momentum and winning their second straight conference game.

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