At 8-8, we’re officially past the halfway point of UNC Basketball’s 2019-20 regular season. It’s time to hand out midseason report cards.
With two minutes and eight seconds remaining in a home matchup against the Clemson Tigers, UNC Basketball up by 10 and just 128 seconds away from securing the 60th straight home victory, Roy Williams’ 880th (which would move him past Dean Smith all-time), and their first win of the year.
But they lost.
A series of frenzied turnovers and poor shots saw Clemson rally back with a 12-2 run and eventually win in overtime, giving UNC its eighth loss in 11 games.
That’s how this season has been for the 8-8 Tar Heels. Nothing has gone their way, between the health of stars (Cole Anthony) and role players (Sterling Manley, Jeremiah Francis, Anthony Harris), immense roster turnover, and anemic shooting.
Halfway through the season, with Anthony still out with a torn meniscus, it’s unclear whether the Heels can even squeak into the NIT. They have strong victories over Notre Dame, Alabama, Oregon, and Yale, but a score of inexcusable home losses and thrashings at the hands of some of the nation’s best teams.
The team itself is deserving of a lowly grade — at 8-8, UNC is suffering its worst start in several years, and there’s no way to paint that in a redeeming light. The situation is bleak, and everyone, from coaches to players to fans, will tell you that.
But what about the players? How have they faired through the season’s first half?