UNC Basketball: The Fall
When you think of college basketball, there are a couple of schools that stand out from the rest. You think of our local schools, Duke and UNC, but two of the most prestigious basketball schools in the nation, Duke has won five titles while UNC has brought in seven. They have controlled the Top-25 for years. They have provided many high quality players to the NBA, such as RJ Barrett, Coby White, and Zion Williamson. But now, UNC has fallen out of the Top 25 for the first time in six years. What now?
UNC started off their season going 7-1, with their only loss coming from #4 ranked Michigan. Since then, they have lost to strong teams in #2 Gonzaga, #5 Ohio State, and #6 Virginia. Amidst all of that, they lost to an unranked Wofford team, losing star point guard Cole Anthony in the process. One of the most explosive players in college basketball, Anthony partially tore his meniscus and had to have surgery to have it repaired. UNC is without him for four-six weeks. Anthony also has the option to stop playing and prepare for the upcoming NBA draft where he is guaranteed to be a Top 10 pick. This North Carolina has to learn how to survive without him, or else they will drop severely in the March Madness bracket. North Carolina is dealing with a very new team. Most of their starters either graduated or moved on to the draft. Garrison Brooks is the only remaining starter from last year. They need someone to step up and take the lead of this team from a player perspective. It is not a coaching issue. Roy Williams has made Carolina the team that it is today. This sudden drop has left the college basketball world speechless. North Carolina already has enough to deal with because of Cole Anthony’s injury, but they also are in the ACC, which is arguably the best division in college basketball. They have to battle #3 Louisville, #4 Duke, #9 Virginia, and # 19 Florida State before they reach March. Carolina fans have to face the very real possibility that UNC could be a very low seed in the bracket, if they even make it at all. As of right now, Duke is the reigning blue blood.
Although UNC is stuck in a very tough situation, you cannot count them out. Roy Williams has coached his team through thick and thin. You can count on him to find a solution to his struggling team. They are still one of the most decorated colleges in the nation, and they won’t have a problem bringing in new high school recruits. As of right now, this is only a problem for this year. We can expect to see the powerhouse they once were next year. So don’t worry Apex students. UNC is down but not out.