Sunday, March 11, 2012
UNC: Final Four and Second Round Exit Both Realistic Possibilities
The NCAA tournament success requires: the right match ups, solid defense, offensive efficiency and a little luck. With John Henson returning to the line up the Tar Heels defense should improve, but in order for them to make any run in the tournament they are going to have to shoot better than 40%. This team shows signs of brilliance one moment, then it looks as it forgot how to play the next. Are they mentally ready to take the next step in the NCAA tourney?
At this point I would not be shocked if the Tar Heels met up with a West Virginia or San Diego state in round two and were exited from the tournament, and in the same breath this team could win a regional with a trip to the final four. This team is more of an enigma that Rashad McCants personality. North Carolina has one of the most dominant big men in the country, but sometimes it looks as though they are determined to score without letting him touch the ball. Against NC State as soon as C.J. Leslie fouled out North Carolina took several thirty foot jumpers as though they had just received an E in "Horse", and were trying to get back into the game. Kendall Marshall has one of the best basketball IQ' I have seen, but he too at times appears to forget time and score a definite no no for a floor general.
On a positive note P.J. Hairston came out of his shooting slump as he made several deft three pointers and a strong drive to the basket to help North Carolina get back into the game today. UNC is going to need him and McCadoo to play well to provide some rest for Zeller and Henson.
Reggie Bullock did not shoot the ball well today, but his defense has been superb. The smaller quicker Dulkys gave him fits today, and if UNC plays a team like West Virginia or Vanderbilt defending the three and back door cuts is going to be a difficult task that will have to be overcome if they want to reach their dreams of a final four birth.
Losing today will have no impact on whether or not the Tar Heels can cut the nets down. Neither 2005 or the 2009 team won the ACC Championship on their way to winning the National Title. Coincidence or not the Tar Heels lost to Florida State in 2009 before basically blowing out the rest of the field to cut down the nets.
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