Blog Entry

Did I say UNC could go undefeated? Really?

Posted on: January 4, 2009 8:45 pm

The flaw in my opinion that North Carolina could go undefeated wasn't that the achievement is impossible.

The flaw was that I failed to recognize that UNC always loses home games it shouldn't.

There was a home loss to unranked Miami three seasons ago; a home loss to unranked Virginia Tech two seasons ago; a home loss to unranked Maryland last season; and now there's a home loss to unranked Boston College this season -- an 85-78 home loss Sunday night in which the Tar Heels were 23-point favorites.

So long, perfection.

So long, No. 1 ranking.

So what the hell are we to make of this?

Answer: A lot and nothing, if that makes much sense.

It means a lot because it shows the Tar Heels are fully capable of screwing this up in the win-or-go home format that is the NCAA tournament. On various nights they have to outscore their opponents because their defense can be suspect, and that's always going to be a concern, whether they can beat a quality opponent when they need 85 points to do it. On the other hand, it means nothing because you can check with any Las Vegas bookmaker and I assure you he'll still have the Tar Heels as the favorites to win the ACC and national title even if they no longer have the nation's best resume or body of work. So in the grand scheme of things, it's not a big deal except for that it ensures UNC won't be the first team to go undefeated since Bob Knight's 1976 Indiana Hoosiers, and it probably takes the Tar Heels out of the running for Team of the Decade or Team of the Century or whatever.

And that's too bad.

Because that's what I thought they could be.

But now they look more like Ivan Drago with a cut over his eye against Rocky Balboa than Ivan Drago with a smirk on his face against Apollo Creed, and if you don't know what I'm talking about you should really watch Rocky IV. To quote Duke the Trainer, the Tar Heels have been hurt, which proves they're not machines; they're men. And now they're hurt men with a questionable home loss to an inferior opponent, just like they were at some point in each of the past three seasons, too.

Category: NCAAB

Since: Jan 14, 2008
Posted on: January 6, 2009 12:45 pm

Did I say UNC could go undefeated? Really?

I like how everyone is so confident when they say their will not be another undefeated team or that it wont be from a major conference.  Records are broke all the time.  I dont think anyone in my lifetime will ever break Cal Ripkins 2632 consective starts, but whoever thought Lou Gehrig's record would be beat. 

Since: Jan 26, 2007
Posted on: January 5, 2009 6:48 pm

Did I say UNC could go undefeated? Really?

The next undefeated team will never come from a top conference.  No team from the Big East, ACC, Big 10, Big 12, or even the Pac 10 will go undefeated.  Parity will not allow it for the bigger conferences.  The notion for UNC doing it was just based on what they brought back, but even that team lost 4 games.  I really think that if a team makes it all the way through will be somebody from a Good conference, but not a major conference.  Even then that team would have to run the table for 6 games in the NCAA.  UNC just had that bullseye from day 1 because they were and still are the most talented team in the nation.  Talent doesn't always ensure a NCAA title.  Does anyone really believe Pitt will go undefeated?  This is what makes college basketball the most fun to watch.  1 loss doesn't knock you out of the title hunt, and there are more than just 1 or 2 good teams in every conference.  And even the Davidson's and George Mason's have the opportunity to compete for a National Title.

Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: January 5, 2009 4:32 pm

Did I say UNC could go undefeated? Really?

I don't care how good you are at anything it's hard to win 30 some times in a row without losing.  At some point you have an off night, or your opponent just plays his best.   UNC plays in one of the two or three toughest conferences.  A team like UNLV back in the early 90's had a better chance of going undefeated because the conference they play in is weaker.  I think if you're ever going to see another undefeated team it will come from a mid major conference.   A team like Gonzaga that has proven itself over the last ten years as a legitimate contender,  is capable of not only getting the talent but also playing the schedule that would allow them to make a run at it.   In reality a team needs three big time players, and the other 3 or 4 have to be pretty good to.   I think that UNLV team had 5 guys at least make the pros.   Another reason i don't think anyone from a big name program will be able to do it, is the kids all leave early now.  The teams that went undefeated or made a run at it were veteran teams. 

Since: Sep 26, 2007
Posted on: January 5, 2009 4:09 pm

Did I say UNC could go undefeated? Really?

OK now that all the talk of North Carolina going undefeated and being the greatest team ever is over let's just enjoy college basketball.

On another note ,my New Year's resolution is to be more forgiving of Gary Parrish. So Gary to help you out here's a little history lesson. There has been only 1 ACC team to go undefeated; North Carolina in 1957! The 4th year of the conference's existence. '74 NC State with David Thompson and company may have been the greatest team in CBB history. They lost a game. '82 UNC had Jordan, Worthy, and Perkins and may have been the greatest team in CBB history. They lost 2 games. '92 Duke with Laettner, Hurley, and the Hills may have been the greatest team in CBB history. They lost 2 games. The 3 ACC National Champions of this decade: '01 Duke, '02 Maryland, and '05 UNC all had 3 or 4 losses.

The reason is that the teams in the ACC hate each other. They don't dislike each other. They don't resent each other. They HATE each other. And any time 2 ACC teams meet, no matter the differences in record and talent, it's going to be a battle. The intensity and the animosity game in and game out is just too taxing for anyone to escape undefeated. Take the Yankees and Red Sox and make them a 12 team league. Yes there have been teams that have gone undefeated in the ACC regular season. But other than UNC '57 they all have a loss somewhere because the brutality of the  ACC is always on the minds of all ACC teams.  

Since: May 4, 2007
Posted on: January 5, 2009 2:35 pm

Did I say UNC could go undefeated? Really?

Why would you think that UNC could go or would go undefeated in the ACC? When they are only the 2nd best team in the conference at best. DUKE being #1 of course. This conference is stacked this year with 5 ranked teams and 3 more knocking on the door of the top 25. Two, three, & four are ACC teams right now. So no matter how good you may think they are No one goes undefeated any more NO one! They wont even win the ACC you wait and see.

Since: May 24, 2007
Posted on: January 5, 2009 2:13 pm

Did I say UNC could go undefeated? Really?

You want to put yesterday's performance on Coach Roy Williams then go right ahead.  But it  wasn't Coach getting beat of the dribble like he had cement shoes; it was Wayne Ellington.  It wasn't Coach Roy who was a no show; it was Deon Thompson.  It wasn't Coach Roy over penetrating into traffic; it was Ty Lawson.  It wasn't Coach Roy forcing the ball and going 6-15; it was Tyler Hansbrough.  It wasn't Coach Roy shooting 15-26, 55% from the free throw line; it was the players.

Big deal they lost a game.  Unfortunate that it was the first ACC game.  A great day by Boston College combined with a sloppy day by the Tar Heels = a loss.  Bring their best every day or don't expect to win a championship; no one is gonna lay down for the Heels.

Since: Dec 9, 2008
Posted on: January 5, 2009 9:42 am

Did I say UNC could go undefeated? Really?

Yes I knew, NC would lose atleast one and think there will be atleast two more in the loss coloum, it's just the revolution of the new colleges sports world. In my oppioion you'll never see a team like the 76 Hoosier.

All the big conference teams are all so close in talent, yeah you hear all the hoopla over oh my god NC has this many Mcdonald All Americans and Duke has this many, come on people there 24 kids selected to that team picked by who ever, 24 out how many other kids that could play on and with those kids though out the country. Thats why college basketball is one of the best sports to watch no matter how good you think your team is, there's going to be a team thats better or atleast one night they are better than you.

Yes if you look at NC on paper my god you would think dream team of college basketball,but in todays college basketball you can to do that with few teams.


Since: Jan 14, 2008
Posted on: January 5, 2009 9:14 am

Did I say UNC could go undefeated? Really?

Well, along with Gary and pretty much everyone else out there, I too thought NC had a great chance to go undefeated.  As an IU fan, I am relieved.  It has been sometime since I thought there was a legimate team with a shoot at the accomplishment of the 76' Hooisers.

To all you Big East lovers out there how many ranked teams have you beat outside of your own conference?  I am not denying that the Big East is a good conference with several good teams (you do have 16 chances) But look at your best wins out of conf...Ucon beat Wisconsin and @Gonzaga, Pitt beat well no one special, G-town beat Memphis and lost to Tenn, U of L lets not go there, Villanova lost to Texas, Marquette beat Wisconsin, Syracuse beat Florida, Kansas and Memphis.  Yes, you have a lot of good records but where are all the ranked teams you have beaten?

The Big 10 has wins against, Duke, UCLA, Texas, Notre Dame, Louisville, Miami (FL), Davidson. 

So before you get too excited about the high rankings the Big East has, maybe they should prove it with some quality wins. 

Since: Jan 4, 2008
Posted on: January 5, 2009 9:05 am

Did I say UNC could go undefeated? Really?

Perhaps I'm a little biased (KU fan/alum), but in line with the comment by hoopsisbest, I'm going to make the bold prediction that UNC will NOT win the NC this year. 

Think about all of the great teams Williams had while at Kansas.  During his tenure (1988 - 2003), he had 9 teams enter the tourney as a #2 seed or higher, and only twice were his teams worse than a #4 seed (#6 in 1999 and #8 in 2000).  Sure, during this time he made 4 final four appearances (2-time runner-up), but did he ever win it?  No.

Why is this? 

I think it's toughness.  He's just too "nice" of a guy.  Does he know the game?  Yes.  Can he recognize and recruit talent?  Of course.  Can he be counted on to always lead a competitive squad?  Definitely.  Are his teams tough?  Hardly. 

Why is this?

I think it's as much who he recruits as it is his personal style, dad-gummit.  (I know...  Poor attempt at humor!)

Of course, after Williams left KU for UNC, he quickly picked up a title...  With Dougherty's recruits.  He went from being "the best to never win it all" to "the guy who can't win it all with his own players."  And, until he can prove me wrong, I'm going to bet against his teams in the biggest of games.

Case in point:  Entering the 2008 NCAA tourney, UNC was the overall #1 seed.  They were expected to breeze through to the title game with little challenge.  Which they did....  Until they met Kansas in the semifinal game.  Kansas thoroughly outmanned, outmatched and outplayed UNC.  Was KU the better team?  On that day, yes.  Why?  Because they were tougher.  KU was physically, mentally and emotionally tougher than UNC.

Oh...  And Beasley should have been the POY last year.  :)

~ b

Since: Sep 14, 2006
Posted on: January 5, 2009 8:13 am

Did I say UNC could go undefeated? Really?

Good call on D. Thompson.  I've been impressed this year by the fact that he hasn't looked so soft...until this game.  I've never seen a guy have so many dunk attempts blocked or have so much trouble battling for rebounds.  Thompson really set the tone for this game by missing 4 of this first 5 free throws.

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