The streak is over and the Tar Heels season might effectively be, as well. The Tar Heels dropped Saturday afternoon’s game to Clemson 79-76, handing them their first win in Chapel Hill in program history and fell to 8-8, thanks to their third straight home loss, the first time since 2010. We hoped we would never have to compare another team to that dreaded season or to the 2002-03 team, but right now it’s hard not to.
Clemson may have won the game in overtime, but the Tar Heels pretty much handed them this game. Up by seven with 1:55 remaining in the game, the team choked away that lead thanks to three boneheaded turnovers that simply can’t happen late in the game against a Clemson team that you had outplayed all day. The three by Aamir Simms to send the game to overtime is something that Roy Williams is receiving a lot of blame for and while fouling may have seemed like a better solution, it is far from a guarantee that the team would have even been able to get the ball past midcourt with turning the ball over. The fact that Simms had as much space as he did to get the shot off may have been the biggest problem, though, especially with the fact that the Tigers were in a three to tie the game inside of 0:05 to go.
There are a lot of things that are lacking on this team right now. From a lack of talent due to injuries to the inability to consistently shoot the basketball, this team is just limping through this portion of the ACC schedule. Outside of the Georgia Tech game, the effort seems to be there, but the lack of simple basketball IQ is as infuriating as anything about this team. The fact that the first instinct of this team when they see full court pressure is to go to the corner and the constant telestration of passes that there has failed to be any adjustment with is just mind boggling.
It’s hard to see this team being able to get this season back on track after losing three straight to bottom-half of the ACC teams all at home. If there is anyone that can do it, it’s Roy Williams, but right now, there has to be legitimate conversations about this team currently being the worst team in the ACC.
-Brandon Robinson had a career performance on the offensive end, scoring 27 points on 9-17 shooting, including hitting five of the teams six 3-pointers. Robinson still struggled passing the basketball, though, and had a crucial turnover during the collapse at the end of the game.
-Armando Bacot recovered after a terrible second half against Pittsburgh to have his best performance on the offensive end since Oregon. Bacot scored 21 points on 7-10 from the field, but did leave some crucial points at the line with three misses on his ten attempts and only pulled down five rebounds.
-After two strong offensive performances, Garrison Brooks had some struggles in all areas of the game on Saturday. He scored 13 points on 6-15 from the field and wasn’t rotating over quick enough defensively to be able to affect shots. It makes a little sense with Brooks having left it all on the floor in the last two games, but the Tar Heels will need him to return to form to have any chance of writing the ship.
-With Jeremiah Francis out of the lineup on Saturday, the Tar Heels dressed just eight scholarship players. The Tar Heel bench combined for just four points, which put just entirely too much pressure on the starting lineup. Depth is a huge issue for this team right now and there are no signs that this will be getting better anytime soon.