North Carolina Tar Heels basketball coach Hubert Davis had a dream start to his coaching career.
Davis was thrust into the spotlight, taking over for the legendary Roy Williams at his Alma Mater.
But he was up to the task. After a slightly slow start in the 2021-22 season, Davis and the Tar Heels hit their stride once 2022 began. They finished the regular season with a 14-5 run before an incredible March Madness run to the national championship game.
Ultimately, the Tar Heels fell to the Kansas Jayhawks, 72-69, in an incredible national title game. But the expectations were sky high in Chapel Hill entering the 2022-23 season. The Tar Heels returned all but one starter from last year’s team and entered the new season ranked No. 1 in the preseason AP Top 25.
But things haven’t gone anywhere near according to plan. UNC dropped to 16-10 after a 80-72 home loss to Miami on Monday and the Tar Heels are now at risk of becoming the preseason AP No. 1 to miss the NCAA Tournament since the field expanded to 64 teams in 1985.
Every preseason No. 1 has made the NCAA tournament since the field expanded to 64 in 1985. Nearly two-thirds of those teams have landed No. 1 seeds and all but three have earned a No. 3 seed or better. Only 2013-14 Kentucky failed to secure at least a No. 5 seed, and those Julius Randle-led Wildcats salvaged an underachieving regular season with an out-of-nowhere run from a No. 8 seed to the national title game.
The preseason No. 1 ranking has also been a fairly reliable tool for projecting NCAA tournament success. Eighteen preseason No. 1 teams have reached the Final Four since 1985. Six have climbed ladders and cut down nets. Conversely, only eight preseason No. 1s have failed to get to the NCAA tournament’s second weekend since 1985. – via Yahoo Sports
The sense in Chapel Hill was always that this could be a history making team for the legendary program. But this wasn’t the type of history anybody was expecting or hoping for.