“My Buddy” Art Chansky done gone and committed Heresy on Franklin Street by asking….
AC dropped this suitcase nuke just three days before The Larry/Genes host The Katrinaed Blue Devils in a “Significant Football game” amid the towering pines. (“Katrinaed” ??? Sure, weren’t they recently devastated by a “hurricane”??) .
A column about BASKETBALL on the eve of a “Significant Carolina Football” game !!! …. “Significant” and “Carolina Football” appear in sentences together about as often as “Rational” and “UNC Faculty”.
Is Art doing this just to remind Larry Fedora “what’s REALLY important” amid the pines? Will Larry mention this column when he vamooses to UCF in December? ….. WHAT?
Just joshing you folks…. or am I?
NOTE: Art’s piece was posted BEFORE Marcus Paige broke his hand….
Is Carolina the most overrated preseason No. 1 in college basketball history?
We’re all excited about the basketball season, which begins officially next weekend. But that excitement has to be tempered by this question: how exactly are the Tar Heels No. 1 in the AP and other preseason polls, darn near a consensus No. 1?
Ol’ Roy’s lucky 13th Carolina team is coming off a good season last year but did not win anything of significance. The Heels led Duke in the second half of both games before losing; they led Notre Dame with 10 minutes to play in the ACC championship game before losing; they led Wisconsin with 7 minutes to play in the Sweet 16 before losing.
How does that translate into being No. 1 in most polls, with not even the same players back? Say what you want about J.P. Tokoto, but he would have represented another example of what Coach Williams likes to call experienced talent. J.P. surprised us by entering the NBA draft, and after getting cutting by the 76ers has now signed with Oklahoma City.
So sans Jean-Pierre, how can the Tar Heels be better? They can with more maturity from everyone returning, but that is speculative until they show on the court that someone besides Marcus Paige can be a reliable three-point shooter and the sophomores and juniors have taken quantum leaps, not to mention whether Brice Johnson and Kennedy Meeks have truly toughened up enough to be a championship front court.
Maybe all that will come to pass, and we are certainly hoping so, but is hope the basis for ranking a team No. 1? Is there a sure-shot pro on the Tar Heels who can put them on his shoulders game in and game out? Can the defense finally be as good as Roy wants it to be, and clearly better than it was last season? Who besides Marcus will emerge as a go-to guy at crunch time?
In college basketball, where you start is irrelevant. It is where you finish, and Carolina has been to the Sweet Sixteen once in the last three years. Starting the season at No. 1 robs the Heels of the time to find themselves and establish an identity as one of the best teams in the country, rather than being labeled as such before the ball goes up.
How does defending national champion Duke feel seeing UNC atop the polls? How about Virginia, the two-time defending ACC regular-season champion? Top-ranked Carolina has now given them even more to prove.