Key fixes for UNC, UK, others
It is flu season, and the doctor is in. These are the dog days of the college basketball season -- conference play -- and the time when a malady can befall a promising team, leading to a malaise in its fan base. Once conference play begins, the difficult part of the season can hit hard, and not every team was properly inoculated by facing the right nonconference bugs.
The following five teams are all winning programs with good players that had promising outlooks to begin the season. Yet they have suffered aches and pains, and their temperatures have spiked at different times of the season, leaving some of their records looking a bit sluggish. It is not just struggling teams that may need a checkup and a prescription for better health -- elite teams are in need of assistance, too. The smartest teams evaluate themselves while winning, not just when they've been kicked to the curb.
Here are diagnoses for what is ailing five prominent teams, along with a prescription for each to regain its health before the end of the season.
Let's start with the undeniable fact the Tar Heels have lost four first-round NBA draft selections and replaced them with youngsters and players who have never played lead roles.
To see the rest of Jay Bilas' aricle about key issues facing North Carolina and four other prominent teams, you must be an ESPN Insider.