Congratulations Tar Heels, you’ve done it again. I think one of the hardest parts about being an outspoken Tar Heel fan is that you can never guess when they’re going to completely rip out your heart and defecate on it. A little aggressive, sure, but it wouldn’t be a UNC Tar Heel season if they didn’t shatter all expectations of them being the best team in the nation.
The Heels played #13 tournament rivals, the Indiana Hoosiers last night, and I’m going to be blatantly honest, I thought this should have been a game in the bag for the Heels. A game that was honestly over hyped from the start just to boost TV ratings for viewers who didn’t know about the history of this match-up.
So sure, like any Heels fan, you would know that Indiana beat us in the national championship back in ’81 and then in the semis in ’84, but all of that was decades ago. I live by the mantra of never looking back (at times), always ahead.
Why did I think this was in the bag? Oh I don’t know,despite the glorified over-hype from college basketball analysts like Jay Bilas, literally the entire team from last year was on the court with the addition of newer studs like Tony Bradley and Seventh Woods as well. Experience was the biggest buzzword flooding the talk of this game and quite frankly their season.
We have one of the scariest front three on the court with Kennedy Meeks averaging 13 points and 10 rebounds a game (not to mention a leaner and more agile Meeks at that), Isaiah Hicks and Tony Bradley, arguably one of the best point guards in the nation, Joel Berry, and still what I managed to watch last night on my illuminated, black mounted rectangle, was an abomination of a basketball game. Great game for the Hoosiers, but an absolute embarrassment for the Tar Heels.
From the very start the Heels went down by almost 20 in Assembly Hall, and then trailed by a stagnant 10 points for the rest of the game. It seemed as if no one showed up to play ball on the away side. Concrete bricks being thrown at the backboard, botched layups (Luke Maye I’m looking at you) and put-backs off offensive rebounds – I mean what team was I watching last night? The experienced and projected #1 best team in America? Fat chance.
Bottom line, the Hoosiers outplayed us. There was really only three statistics that back up their win. The Hoosiers shot 48% from the field goal, 38% from the three (which is not that good at all), and 66.7% from the free throw. Both teams were tied for total rebounds and what’s even crazier is that Indiana even fouled and turned the ball over more than us. How Sway? How!? Where were the Tar Heels last night?
If it wasn’t for Justin Jackson hitting a big-dad three to get us remotely close to being back into the game with a five point deficit, the game could have gotten uglier. Yes, this is the same Hoosiers team that beat Kansas at the very beginning of the year, but let’s also not forget that this same team that beat us and Kansas lost to some nobody team, Fort Wayne. Like, what in the shit? I don’t even expect that team to make it to the tourny this year.
If anything, Indiana will be one of the biggest hot and cold teams of the season, and that’s only with 6 games under their belt. Good news is that the Heels pulled this tomfoolery last year, taking a fat ‘L’ to UNI and ultimately we ended up winning the ACC and making it to the NCAA championship, where I would then lose sleep over a devastating loss to Villanova. I’m nottooworried about the lost, but at the same time I expected it, which will forever solidify my jadedness towards this team for breaking my heart so many times.
My emotions are blanketed now and any and all excitement I had will now be tucked far, far away into the depths of my soul, until the Heels start making strides towards the ship again. Which, I should expect another heartbreaking loss if that does start to happen again.
This hasn’t died yet, has it?
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