Updated: Jan 21
For the first time since 2004, the Tar Heels are below .500. This comes after the team fourth straight loss, a 66-52 loss to Pittsburgh on the road. This is the second four-game losing streak of the season, the first time that has happened since the disastrous 2002-03 season.
At this point, there isn’t really much to say about this Tar Heels basketball team. Turnovers, shooting struggles and the failure to finish at the rim, all things that have hindered this team all year long, did this team in once again and continues to dig an even deeper hole for this team if they have any chance of making the NCAA tournament.
The biggest disappointment about Saturday’s game was the lack of effort after a strong start in the opening minutes of the game. Once Pittsburgh punched back, this team just wasn’t able to respond. The body language on the floor looked like that of a team that is defeated and lacking the confidence that they need to win games in the ACC.
The last hope is that Cole Anthony can come back and not only dominate himself, but boost the confidence of a team that right now has none. If he can, the Tar Heels might have a chance to make a run at what should be a weak tournament bubble. If not, there is legitimate concern that this team might finish in the basement of the ACC.
-The Tar Heels ripped down 21 offensive rebounds on Saturday and turned that into 24 second chance points. While it isn’t that bad, there were plenty of opportunities that the Tar Heels left on the floor that could have made this a much closer game late.
-Since Anthony Harris’ injury, the tempo has reverted back to the slower half-court pace the Tar Heels were stuck in earlier in the year. The Tar Heels mustered just four fastbreak points, despite forcing nine turnovers in the game. The tempo was the key to win against UCLA and Yale, but that has disappeared and doesn’t seem to be close to returning anytime soon even if Anthony returns.
-Both Garrison Brooks and Armando Bacot finished with double-doubles, but struggled with turnovers and missed some easy inside looks that needed to go. Both big men have had their moments where they’ve looked good, but those flashes have to become consistent if they want to start winning again.