Discussion

UNC should be Final Four-bound but will have ACC company in the Dance

Originally Published: January 3, 2008
By Jay Bilas | ESPN.com
UNCNorth Carolina: 13-0
The Good: The Tar Heels are unbeaten, leading the ACC in scoring by a wide margin, have the leading candidate for Player of the Year in Tyler Hansbrough (who is living up to every crazy expectation we had for him), own the top sixth man in the country in Danny Green, have the fastest point guard in the nation in Ty Lawson and are defending better than they have in the past couple of years. The Heels are also playing at a breakneck pace with players who can actually break your neck. The other teams playing at Carolina's pace are mid-majors trying to set themselves apart, but they are not winning while doing it. No team in America scores as fast as Roy's boys. Carolina scores after a miss, off a turnover or after a make with equal speed, and a tie game turns into a double-figure deficit against Carolina quicker than any other team.

The Bad: What could be bad about a team that is unblemished? Well, I created the category, so take a trip with me to Negative Town. If you listen to the schedule clowns, North Carolina has not played the toughest slate in the country, but that is hardly the Heels' fault. They spent forever on the road, playing at Rutgers (to get Green a home game), Kentucky, Ohio State and Penn, and on neutral courts against Davidson and BYU (it's not their fault Louisville lost). The Heels may not be the best perimeter-shooting team, but this is a better shooting team than it was last season. Wayne Ellington is a confident and excellent shooter, Green has good range and does not hesitate to take an open 3, and Lawson can hit shots with his feet set. Outside of that, there are few threats from the perimeter. While it's certainly not "bad," North Carolina needs to get more consistent play from the power forward spot. Deon Thompson and Alex Stepheson are sophomores and will improve, but Roy Williams would like to see more consistent production.

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