Updated: Feb 14
The game following the Duke game is always a tough one to get up for, especially after the way that the Tar Heels lost on Saturday night. However, no one foresaw what would happen in Winston-Salem on Tuesday night. In a game that, outside of the meeting later in the year at home against Demon Deacons, was the team’s best chance to win another game, the Tar Heels were embarrassed by a Wake Forest team that entered the game in the basement of the ACC. From start to finish, the Demon Deacons were the better team on the floor as they ran away from the Tar Heels 74-57.
Everything that went well against Duke reverted back to its normal form this season. After shooting 52.2% from the field on Saturday, the Tar Heels shot just 33.3% from the field, including a dastardly 1-16 from beyond the arc. After hitting 9-13 layup opportunities against the Blue Devils, the Tar Heels weren’t nearly as efficient against the Demon Deacons, finishing the game 13-22. After putting together the best performance since his return to the lineup, Cole Anthony struggled mightily once again, hitting just five of his 19 field goal attempts and turning the ball over seven times on his own. Meanwhile, Garrison Brooks continues to struggle since Anthony’s return, scoring just seven points, all of which came from the free throw line.
I know I’ve said it multiple times, but this Tar Heel team officially hit rock bottom on Tuesday night. If we’re being honest with ourselves, the Tar Heels were playing the least talented team in the conference and one that is preparing for a change at their head coaching position in the off-season. This Tar Heel team was not only beat, though. They were left in the dust. This loss secures the notion that the Tar Heels will have to win the ACC Tournament to make the NCAA Tournament. While we all hold out hope, this has shown nothing to suggest they are capable of doing that.
-Christian Keeling is the one positive that can be taken away once again. In 31 minutes of play, he scored 15 points on 7-14 from the field and was the Tar Heels best and impactful player on the court. Keeling received a lot of criticism for his shooting woes earlier in the year, but right now, he might be the Tar Heels best perimeter shooter.
-Walker Miller played significant minutes on Tuesday, continuing to show just how banged up this team. In fifteen minutes on the floor, Miller held his own, scoring two points, corralling four rebounds and even blocking one shot.
-The Tar Heels have yet to win a game since Cole Anthony’s return to the lineup against Boston College. The team missed a big opportunity to grab a win on Tuesday and only ramps up here down the stretch. As of right now, the Tar Heels are predicted to win just two more games the rest of this season, a number that would see them finish with just 12 wins, easily the worst number for a Roy Williams coached team in his 32-year head coaching career.