North Carolina will not participate in the NIT after learning that it was not selected for the NCAA Tournament, the program announced Sunday. Landing as one of the "First Four Out" of the 68-team bracket for the Big Dance, the Tar Heels became the first preseason No. 1 team in the AP Top 25 to ever miss the tournament.
Presumably, the Tar Heels would have been in position to host a first-round NIT game, but coach Hubert Davis made it clear that it is time for the program to turn the page on a disappointing 2022-23 season.
"All season, our focus and goal have been on being the best team we can possibly become and reaching our full potential to give us another opportunity to compete, play for and win an NCAA championship," Davis said in a statement. "Although we no longer have that opportunity and this season wasn't what we had hoped for, I want to thank our players and staff for their hard work and love for Carolina Basketball. Many factors go into postseason play, and we believe now is the time to focus on moving ahead, preparing for next season and the opportunity to again compete for ACC and NCAA championships.
"I also want to thank our great fans for their incredible support," he continued. "Our commitment to you is what drives us to improve our program in every way."
North Carolina finishes the season 20-13 after losing to Virginia in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament. The Tar Heels returned four starters from a team that finished as the national runner-up just a season ago as a No. 8 seed; however, the Tar Heels never found their footing and struggled during nonconference play, dropping out of the AP poll by early December.