From No. 1 to NIT: UNC’s March Madness hopes splinter in ACC Tournament quarterfinals loss to UVA
From #1 to NIT. Virginia’s 68-59 victory over North Carolina in Thursday’s ACC Tournament quarterfinals all but confirms the inevitable. North Carolina’s hopes for the NCAA Tournament were lulled by the clutches of Virginia. It’s time to clear a path in North Carolina’s 2022-2023 record book: Most Disappointing College Basketball Team.
Thursday marked the culmination of what is sure to be one of the most disappointing seasons in North Carolina basketball history. The bad habits that have been frustrating for UNC all year have come into full play Thursday against Virginia. Instead of playing like a desperate team fighting for their lives in the NCAA Tournament, North Carolina came out with a flurry of reckless, whimpering jumpers.
North Carolina missed nine layups, shot 8 of 27 from three-point range, and shot just 33% from the field in the second half. Tar Heels will enter the selection on Sunday with no hope of a wide offer. He will go to the NIT 1-9 in Quad 1 games, and any hopes of returning to the national championship game are dashed one by one.
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Here are the main media reactions to UNC’s timid loss.
Goodnight North Carolina pic.twitter.com/z3ozfMgjax
— Field 68 (@TheFieldOf68) March 10, 2023
Last season, North Carolina reached the NCAA Men’s Tournament national championship game.
However, this year is a different story.
The Tar Heels lose to Virginia in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament. pic.twitter.com/PXGt8NNbN2
— Athletic (@TheAthletic) March 10, 2023
North Carolina preseason All-American quarterback Caleb Love was unable to defeat charges in postseason play. The UNC guard finished with just 11 points on 3 of 15 shots from the field. Love shot just 2 of 10 from downtown and didn’t score in the first half.
I figured that North Carolina, skipping the NCAA Tournament with roughly the same team that beat Duke in the Final Four in Coach K’s last game, makes the fact that they beat Duke in the Final Four in Coach K’s last game. , even funnier.
— Roger Sherman (@rodger) March 10, 2023
North Carolina, the No. 1 team in the preseason, is losing to Virginia and almost certainly losing to the NIT. Huge failure of the season for Hubert Davis and a group of players who made the NCAA title game a year ago.
— Dan Clouds (@DanClouds) March 10, 2023
Love put the UNC on his back when the lights were at their brightest last year. His flurry of sensational three-pointers was overwhelming. But Love’s shot choice killed UNC on Thursday and for long stretches of the season.
North Carolina is the only No. 1 team in the AP preseason to have multiple three-game losing streaks.
The Tar Heels are in danger of becoming the first No. 1 preseason team to miss the NCAA Tournament since North Carolina State in 1974-75. pic.twitter.com/WTbxESxMo3
— ESPN stats and info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 10, 2023
UNC star big man Armando Bacott cannot be questioned. But after a painful ankle injury, it became clear that Bakot was a shell of himself. The center had just four points, three rebounds and three assists in 21 minutes.
Preseason No. 1 North Carolina will play in the NIT despite the return of four starting players from last season’s team that qualified for the national title game. https://t.co/OG2oOREMdG
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) March 10, 2023
North Carolina has returned 4 starters from a team that scored 15 points at halftime last year for the national title… and won’t even be in the tournament this year. Amazing
— Jimmy Dykes (@CoachJimmyDykes) March 10, 2023
Virginia didn’t even click all the cylinders. The runners-up Cavaliers lost all-around forward Ben Vander Plas to a season-ending hand injury in practice earlier this week. But in the end, it wasn’t a competition.
North Carolina, #1 in NIT. Historic failure for the No. 1 preseason team.
— Pat Ford (@ByPatForde) March 10, 2023
It’s been a tough season for North Carolina, to say the least. There is no reason for the Tar Heels to play in the NCAA Tournament so there is no pressure, but I know it was a great experience for Hubert Davis. He is recruiting well and I have no doubt things will get better.
— Seth Davis (@SethDavisHoops) March 10, 2023
Virginia’s Jaden Gardner did whatever he wanted to do by himself against a plethora of North Carolina defensemen. Freshman Isaac McNeely came off the bench to hit a pair of 3-pointers. The North Carolina bench scored just five points.
My sincere apologies @Riley_Davis3, but I think it would be appropriate to talk about the North Carolina bubble. Tar Heels, like many other bubble teams stable this week, is missing out on a big opportunity. However, UNC was further behind the top eight than these teams.
— Lucas Harkins (@hardwiredsports) March 10, 2023
North Carolina’s out-of-conference play is certainly a big reason why the Tar Heels didn’t even hit the bubbles ahead of Selection Sunday. The Tar Heels did not take on the states of Iowa, Alabama, or Indiana. Wins over Michigan and Ohio State should have bolstered the résumé, but both Big Ten programs are likely out of the NCAA Tournament as well.
If North Carolina won tonight, they’d be in the NCAA Tournament.
Everything fell into place for the committee to put them in, but the Heels couldn’t do it.
Terrible coaching job Hubert Davis this season.
— Thomas Casale (@TheTomCasale) March 10, 2023
For those in the back, the NCAA Tournament in North Carolina is looking to… pic.twitter.com/Wsattf5TIh
— Brad Evans (@NoisyHuevos) March 10, 2023
Hubert Davis and the North Carolina coaching staff are sure to take some of the blame for the season’s failure. But North Carolina was a veteran team that didn’t play as such.
The season in North Carolina is over.
— Brendan Marks (@BrendanRMarks) March 10, 2023
A lot to unpack. However, not everything has to happen tonight.
— Sherrell D. Macmillan (@RellDMC) March 10, 2023
According to Synergy, North Carolina is currently the worst team of the top six defensive shots. North Carolina is now ranked 321st in the nation in 3-point percentage (31.2%). RJ Davis went 4 of 8 from Thursday’s three-pointers against Virginia, but Love and Leaky Black were the only two UNC teammates to knock down the three. UNC’s shooting failures are one of the main reasons he will go down in history as one of the biggest blows in college basketball history.