Busting Brackets
Fansided

UNC Basketball: 3 takeaways from a season-ending Sweet 16 loss to Alabama

A poor second half doomed the Tar Heels in Los Angeles

Alabama v North Carolina
Alabama v North Carolina / Harry How/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
2 of 3
Next

2. Carolina's second-half lineup left something to be desired

If you're looking for someone to kill Hubert Davis over the decisions he made in this game, you've come to the wrong place. The third-year head coach is now 7-2 in the NCAA Tournament, even after this loss, and he continues to demonstrate in wins, and especially in losses, why he was the perfect choice to succeed Roy Williams. I wouldn't want anyone else to coach this team, and Carolina fans know that this program will be in a good place for years to come thanks to Davis' presence on the sideline.

With all that being said, it's fair to question why we barely saw Seth Trimble and Elliot Cadeau in the second half of this game. Both players provided a real spark in the first half, and both possess a skill set that could have made a difference in a game like this.

Trimble is Carolina's best defender, and the Heels certainly could have used him when Alabama went on a run in the second half. Cadeau has the ballhandling ability and the speed to thrive in such an up-tempo game, and his superlative passing skill was sorely needed as the Heels struggled to get open looks late.

I get Davis' reasoning for taking them out, to an extent. Both shot the ball beyond any reasonable expectation in the first half, and there's no way that was ever going to last, even with Alabama sagging off of them on every possession.

UNC shot only 25% as a team in the second half, and that's the real reason they lost. Paxson Wojcik gave the Heels good minutes, and until the final minute when he took one of the most ill-advised shots in recent Carolina history, so did Jae'Lyn Withers. Maybe the Heels still would have gone down if their guards got more minutes instead, but it would have been nice to find out.