Commentary

Heels lacked pride, passion in loss

Updated: January 14, 2012, 11:18 PM ET
By Dick Vitale | ESPN.com

Are you serious? I could not believe what I saw in Tallahassee on Saturday. Wow, give me a break, baby!

I have never seen a North Carolina basketball team look that bad. A big part of it was the way Florida State executed its offense, hustled and outplayed the Tar Heels badly. Then there was the lack of energy displayed by North Carolina.

I guess that shows what geniuses we are. I think many people felt it would be cupcake city, but for the other team.

Let's remember, Florida State has had some struggles this season, like a 10-point first-half performance against Harvard. There was a loss to Princeton. This was a team with a 10-6 record coming in. There was a different attitude after a win at Virginia Tech prior to the weekend.

The Tar Heels were very flat and it is hard to understand. Getting beat is one thing, getting humiliated is another.

Where was the character and the pride of the Tar Heel players? Don't they understand that they are not only playing for themselves, but for the tradition of that uniform? Think about all the great things accomplished over the years in Chapel Hill!

[+] EnlargeDeividas Dulkys
Phil Sears/US PresswireFSU guard Deividas Dulkys scored a career-high 32 points against the third-ranked Tar Heels on Saturday.

Roy Williams looked like he could not believe what was going on there. He could not have expected anything like that.

I honestly feel nobody could believe what was going on in the second half. Give a lot of credit to the Seminoles as they jumped out and hit a number of trifectas early to get the lead. Deividas Dulkys was the star of stars, hitting eight-of-10 three-pointers while putting on a brilliant performance. Leonard Hamilton's team was clearly fired up, especially with the Gameday crowd there too.

Dulkys became the BMOC (big man on campus) and I am sure he will be treated like royalty in class this week.

I felt that the lack of passion and pride was stunning for Carolina. I truly believe that opponents play at a different level when they see the opponent wearing Carolina or Duke on the front of the jersey.

For North Carolina to bounce back, a few things must happen. The Tar Heels cannot get beaten on the glass that badly as the Seminoles scored on a number of offensive rebounds and hustle plays. Kendall Marshall, who is a brilliant passer with incredible court vision, must be more dedicated on the defensive end. There have been times when he has been beaten to the basket by quicker guards.

I am sure that the North Carolina players understand what that jersey represents. They are too talented to get beaten like that. I feel they will respond to their coach as Hall-of-Famer Williams has too much pride to accept that performance.

It was a signature win for Florida State and the party in Tallahassee must have been special Saturday night. Great confidence and outstanding team defense spelled blowout city for the Seminoles.

Meanwhile, the 33-point loss was one for the Tar Heels to tuck away and forget about, baby!

Dick Vitale

College Basketball analyst
Dick Vitale, college basketball's top analyst and ambassador, joined ESPN during the 1979-80 season. His thorough knowledge of the game is brought forth in an enthusiastic, passionate style. Vitale also contributes columns to ESPN.com.