We are four games into the NCAA Men’s Basketball season, and we already have upsets filling up the headlines of sport blogs and TV time. On Sunday night, the No. 6 NC State Wolfpack fell in a devastating beat down to the unranked OSU Cowboys, 76-56. Last night, the No. 9 North Carolina Tar Heels feel 82-71 to Butler.
Is this a sign of ACC future this season? It is a sign for sure, but not as dark as it seemed on Sunday and Tuesday night. The Wolfpack came into this season as the ACC favorites and with a very high preseason ranking. They had been praised since basketball talk began as one of the most talented teams this year and, even though Mark Gottfried stated the opposite, it seems like the team bought into their own hype.
Going into the Sunday night OSU game, the Pack had a 3-0 record with wins over Penn State, UMASS, and Miami (OH). No one is taking away from those wins, but they weren’t impressive victories coming from the No. 6 ranked team in the country. One would have expected the preseason match-up against Belmont Abbey would have been a wake up call. But it wasn’t. The Pack paid the price for that on Sunday night. You can’t buy into your own hype and you can’t underestimate teams simply because of what the number in front of your school name represents.
If we know anything of Mark Gottfried it is that the Pack will come back strong from this sobering loss. The Pack faces up against UNC-Asheville this Friday and much is expected from the talented team. The Wolfpack dropped to No. 16 but the season is very young.
The North Carolina Tar Heels are definitely undermanned this season compared with the top-ranked squad they had on the court last year. However, the preseason No. 9 Heels were looking pretty good early in the Maui Invitational. That is until they matched up against a Butler team that wanted to win more bad than the Heels.
No worries, one thing about Roy Williams, UNC head coach, is that he keeps his best performances for last. This is a young Carolina team that has plenty of season time to grow up and challenge the top teams in the NCAA as well as conference rivals, Duke and NC State.