Saturday, February 20, 2010

Mini Post II: UNC Basketball

Note: This Mini Post is dealing primarily with Carolina Basketball. I will address the national title picture and all the good teams this year in an updated VFSS Elite Eight sometime next week.

In most aspects of life I consider myself to be pretty pragmatic but when it comes to my sports teams I'm perhaps the world's biggest optimist. In the last couple weeks of the NFL season I was still holding out hope that the Steelers would win out (which they did) and have a million things fall their way (which they did not) and sneak into the playoffs. Going into last Tuesday's GT game I was holding out hope the Heels could somehow go on a run and finish the season 8-8, which may just be good enough to sneak into the NCAA tournament if they could muster up a win or two in the ACC tournament. Thirty minutes into the game my hope for the season was finally destroyed. At 3-8 the Heels would have to win out in the remainder of the ACC schedule, and folks that just ain't going to happen. There is no way this team is winning at Duke or at Wake. Even if everything else goes right, that leaves UNC at 6-10 in the ACC. At that point the only way the team could get a NCAA tournament bid would be to win the ACC tournament. UNC has the same chance of winning the ACC tournament as any snowboarder not named Shaun White had of winning the gold medal in Wednesday night's halfpipe event. In other words, none.

So how do you deal with a year like this? From a fan's perspective I could go into detail about moving from how watching this team has gone from very exciting to borderline masochism, but fellow sports blog EJSIC has already posted a great piece on the UNC fan experience this season. From the players' perspective the main thing I want is for one of the underclassmen (ideally Larry Drew) to step up and get across the message to the rest of the team that he intends to keep fighting through the rest of the ACC schedule even though this season has been a disappointment and then win the NIT (sorry I just threw up in my mouth a little bit at the idea of UNC in the NIT) and end the season on a winning note. The most dangerous thing for next year's team will not be talent (the team will have 9-10 McDonald's All Americans depending on whether Davis leaves) but will be a lack of confidence carrying over from this season. In my opinion that is why it is so important for UNC to keep fighting and try to win the NIT (assuming they don't pull off a huge miracle and win the ACC tournament). For now UNC fans should just keep cheering for the team for the rest of the season and feel free to look at last year's trophy (pictured above) to make you feel better.

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