That’s a wrap on the season. What happened against Kansas, and did the Heels over or underachieve for the season? We also revisit our season predictions done way back in October to see how correct we were (not very), and in Dook sucks this week, Andy encounters a clueless Dookie at the Huffington Post.
- This was probably a fitting way for the Heels to go out. Carolina has seemed like two teams this season, some games looking dominant, other games looking overmatched. We got both teams in this one game.
- Shane Larkin may come in a distant second, but Carolina hasn’t faced a player this year who had such an impact on the game like Withey. Beyond his scoring, he seemed to affect every shot the Heels took, even if he wasn’t nearby. Just his presence.
- The Heels should have been up by 20 at the half. The team missed some easy ones. Things only went downhill in the second half.
- When’s the last time Bullock had just 5 points?
- Was Charles Barkley wearing a Carolina blue tie, or was that just a coincidence?
- It must really stink for Roy to keep losing to Kansas in the tourney. It would have been nice to get him this one.
- Tokoto took a long jumper and Strickland attempted a couple of 3s — one that bricked off the backboard horribly. Seems like they would have learned not to take those shots by now.
- This game really hammered home that McAdoo still lacks an offensive identity. Is he a true post player who likes to go strong to the hoop or is he someone who steps outside to hit touch jump shots? He didn’t do either very well this game, caught sort of in the middle.
- Was it just us or did the calls seem to go unusually in our favor in the first half? This must be how Dook feels every game.
- Had Lennie Rosenbluth known CBS would be showing a freeze frame close-up of his hands, he probably would have gotten a manicure.
- We won, so how come it feels a little like we lost?
- That was pretty darn ugly. But kudos to the guys for being tough down the stretch.
- Paige has now hit some big shots at the end of the game about three games in a row.
- Bullock does it quietly, but when Carolina needs a steal, a stop, a rebound or a 3, it’s usually him.
- We’ve said it before, but McDonald is just going to have to give the team more offense going forward. Imagine what would happen if he could be counted on for 7-9 points a game?
- Nova just owned Carolina on the boards. I don’t think the Wildcats made a single first shot in the second half. But someone would just get the offensive rebound and lay the ball in. Frustrating.
- Much love to Roy for recognizing the mismatch and going bigger with Jackson Simmons down the stretch. That might have saved the game.
- After cutting down a lot on the turnovers towards the end of the season and through the ACC tourney, Carolina threw the ball away 17 times this game. That’s gotta change.
- How come Tokoto didn’t jump over a Villanova player and dunk the ball?
- Glad Dexter didn’t have his Carolina career end like that. Let’s hope he puts together a better showing against Kansas.
Check out this interesting heat map via Facebook showing which teams basketball fans will be rooting for during the tournament. When it comes to the South bracket, Carolina blue extends across the entire nation like a curtain.
There’s also another map about UNC vs. Dook support, and we gotta say, it’s a little surprising. We knew Carolina was the overwhelming favorite, but again, the map looks more Carolina blue than a T-shirt you’d buy at student stores. And what’s up with northern Maine? How come those people are such hardcore Blue Devils fans? Being that cold and so close to Canada has warped those people’s brains. Oh, and look at the state of North Carolina. There are a couple pockets of dark blue — pinpoints really — but the entire state appears to be in the UNC column.
Here’s ESPN’s round-up of the most intriguing storylines from the tourney, and oh, would you look at that. Roy Williams potentially facing Kansas hits the top of the list.
1. Kansas vs. North Carolina? The most intriguing game may occur in the round of 32 if Kansas and North Carolina were to meet in a 1-8 matchup in Kansas City. North Carolina coach Roy Williams was a longtime coach of Kansas and famously wore a massive Jayhawks sticker when he watched KU beat Memphis in the 2008 national title game in San Antonio. Kansas would have to get by Western Kentucky in the second round, while the Tar Heels are hardly a lock to get past No. 9 Villanova. But if it were to occur, then the South would have the most talked-about coaching matchup in the early rounds since Bill Self replaced Williams, not to mention two of the most tradition-rich programs.
For the committee to claim they don’t look at match-ups and that this happened accidentally — for the third time in nine years — is just ridiculous.
The reality is that hardcore basketball fans will always tune into the tournament. To draw fringe fans, however, the playbook for TV networks is to create compelling storylines. These have been proven to increase viewership and grab eyeballs that normally wouldn’t be watching. That’s why you saw the endless flogging of Manti Te’o and his dead girlfriend during the college football season, Ray Lewis and his retirement during the Super Bowl, and on and on. Less committed viewers don’t care about a game unless they’re given emotional, human stories to latch on to. Roy Williams vs. Kansas is one of those unbeatable stories.
UPDATE: Here’s what committee chairman Mike Bobinski had to say about the UNC-Kansas matchup:
“We never predict matchups,” he continued. “We don’t try and make matchups. We don’t look down the road. That’s for everybody else to do when the bracket’s done. With the speed that this thing comes at us, we don’t have the ability to sit there, nor do the principles and procedures allow us to cook the bracket and concoct matchups that might be interesting or have some personal angle to it. We just don’t do that.”
The statistician has released his NCAA predictions, and it’s ain’t pretty — at least for UNC fans. He gives the team almost no chance of winning a national championship. Even VCU is a better bet at .4%. Not surprisingly, Louisville is his most likely winner at 22.7%.
Do put your money on Carolina beating Villanova and moving into the third round though. That’s a 67% chance. Making the Sweet 16 is only a 14% chance, however.
There’s also this tidbit about why Silver isn’t putting his money on Kansas.
One additional factor helping Florida is that Kansas could face a very tough Round of 16 game against No. 4 seed Michigan, which had until recently appeared to be in the running for a No. 1 or No. 2 seed and isn’t all that easy to differentiate from the Big Ten teams that are seeded ahead of it. North Carolina, the No. 8 seed, could also give Kansas problems if it begins to play up to its preseason billing.
Meanwhile, over at kenpom.com, Pomeroy has Florida as his top overall team, followed by Louisville. Carolina slides in at #28, one slot off the actual rank given to them by the selection committee.
The Heels couldn’t get it done in the ACC Tournament final, but it was a nice effort, and we’re looking forward to the damage Carolina might do in the NCAAs. That said, c’mon. An #8 seed? We’re calling BS. Also, what’s with the selection committee’s obsession with pairing up Roy Williams and Kansas? It’s getting creepy. In this week’s Dook Sucks, we’ve got an anecdote from a New York Times #1 bestselling author.
- As losses go, this wasn’t so terrible. The Heels played a really great game, just ended up falling short against a better team. It’s hard to hate on that. Still, feels like Carolina has built some nice momentum going into the NCAA tourney.
- This is one of the few times this season the team has come out really focused and energetic from the start. Love to see that.
- We’ve really come to hate Larkin and those endless screens at the top of the key. How can anyone guard that?
- Paige is now a true triple threat. Defenders have to legitimately honor his driving, passing AND scoring ability. It’s getting to the point where his 3-point shooting is almost as trustworthy as Bullock’s or Hairston’s.
- There were no alley-oops off the backboard for Miami in this one. Nope.
- Reggie Johnson used to be so dangerous. Now he’s just…fat. What happened?
- He only plays limited minutes, but Hubert does some nice things when he is in. He’s like the new Jackson Simmons.
- A much more efficient game for McDonald this time. He didn’t take nearly as many shots and made 2/3 of them.
- The Heels shot really well from the foul line. That’s great to see moving into the tourney.
- Hairston made some really incredible 3-pointers — and a ton of them. That said, Miami’s McKinney-Jones, who no one has ever really heard of, quietly made just as many.
- Carolina’s zone defense did a decent job of shaking Miami up. That’s the kind of in-game tweak that a lot of haters have been saying Roy never makes.
- We say it every game, and we won’t repeat ourselves again, except to say: 7’1″ Alex Len had 7 rebounds, Bullock had 9.
- When I see those ads for Taco Bell’s Cool Ranch tacos, I’m somehow prouder for American than when I hear the national anthem.
- This was a pretty scary glimpse of what happens when the game boils down to foul shooting. If this happens in the NCAA tourney, it might spell trouble.
- It never turns out well when a team starts trying to burn clock with five minutes left. JUST PLAY!
- Len got his points, but Carolina’s double team on him and the other big men worked surprisingly well. Nice job.
- Compared to earlier in the season, Paige’s assists have become much more spectacular. Instead of just standing outside and passing to a jump shooter, he’s now more likely to drive and make a nice dish.
- It’s pretty strange how little Hubert looks to score. Yes, there are better offensive options, but really? Someone who has played organized ball for a few years can’t make an easy lay-up or a 3-foot jumper? Or won’t even consider the possibility?
- Hairston is a real man. Got beat up yesterday, had his hand stitched, took some blows in this game, and yet he soldiered on, making some tough shots and grabbing some rebounds.
- We are now instituting the Jackie Manuel Memorial Rule for Tokoto. No jumpers whatsoever.
- I know the announcers were trying for a Blind Side-esque story of triumph over adversity with that Dez Wells sexual assault story, but it just ended up being kind of creepy, didn’t it?
- Shut up, Jay Williams.