For a half, North Carolina made everyone forget. Or, at least if one were inclined to forget, the possibility was open. The struggling Tar Heels held a 10-point lead at halftime against Georgia Tech in the opening round of the ACC Tournament, but they crumbled in the second half and fell to the Yellow Jackets 62-58.
The loss knocked the Heels out of the tournament and officially ended the Heels’ chances of earning a berth in the NCAA Tournament, though entering the weekend essentially no one expected them to win the ACC title.
Carolina’s primary issue in this game was the same one that felled the team all season: poor shooting. The Heels shot just 33 percent from the field, an excruciating number against a team that didn’t perform especially well on defense.
The Heels did get double-figure scoring games from both Deon Thompson (10 points, eight rebounds) and Tyler Zeller (17 points, 10 rebounds), but no one else was able to get anything going offensively.
Georgia Tech shot 43 percent — certainly not an impressive number — and lost the rebounding battle 46-37, yet the Jackets still managed to win the game due to UNC’s horrific offense.
Many Carolina fans now are questioning what happens next. Roy Williams said after the game that he’d accept an invitation to any postseason tournament — the most likely candidate in this instance being the postseason NIT — and mostly, what Roy says goes.
Enthusiasm among the players is a question that won’t get answered honestly when posed by members of the media, but if the head man says yes, odds are we’ll see the Heels continue to look for answers in a postseason tournament.
Carolina is now 16-16 on the season, so if the Heels fall in their first postseason game they will finish with an overall losing record.
To see the UNC/Georgia Tech box score, click here.