Ignore the 10-5. What matters right now: 0-2 in the ACC, and only one quality win so far this season.
Barring a significant turnaround, the Tar Heels will be lucky if they’re on the NCAA bubble come late February.
The RPI ratings (I know many of you hate them and believe they are flawed, but they matter to the NCAA tournament committee) have UNC 59th, and that was before Thursday’s 68-59 home defeat against Miami, which was without its best player, Reggie Johnson.
UNC is already 0-3 against the RPI Top 25, and the Tar Heels only have one win over the RPI Top 100 (UNLV, at home).
But the RPI debate may not even matter to UNC, because at 0-2 in the ACC, the Tar Heels won’t garner any March consideration unless they can get over .500 in conference play. Currently, the ACC is only the 4th rated conference, and if the Pac-12 continues to improve (Oregon, Arizona State, Arizona and UCLA all currently look like tourney teams), the ACC could fall to 5th soon.
UNC will almost certainly need to win two of six games against NC State, Duke and Maryland before it begins thinking March Madness. (I know the Terps haven’t beaten anyone, but they’re loaded and will only get better as the season progresses). A few more regular season losses and we’ll be talking about how a run in the ACC tourney will be mandatory.
What a brick on my part, ranking UNC 11th in the preseason.
Saturday, 2 pm: UNC at Florida State. A lot on the line for UNC, especially with Maryland, Georgia Tech and at NC State on the horizon.
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