Thursday, February 5, 2009

Tar Heels, as predicted, in first place

Just as everyone predicted, the Tar Heels will make the turn in first place.

It's not at 8-0, or even 7-1, but suddenly the Heels find themselves in the driver's seat in the ACC after an 0-2 start.

Wake Forest has lost two straight after getting embarrassed at Miami on Wednesday and is just 4-3, despite an 2-0 record against Duke and Carolina.

Duke's 6-2 after getting throttled by Clemson on Wednesday.

As long as Clemson remains in third place, or even tied with Duke and North Carolina, the Tar Heels would win the ACC's regular-season with a split with the Devils (because of the win over Clemson).

As predicted, the importance of UNC's win at Florida State continues to grow. A loss there, and the Heels are 5-3 and starting to ask serious questions about depth and defense with the loss of Marcus Ginyard.

Thanks to Danny Green's late steal and Ty Lawson's running three in Tallahassee, the Heels are 6-2 and, more importantly, confident.

The difference between confidence and overconfidence is focus. The 0-2 ACC start wasn't a wakeup call for Carolina but a reminder that you are only as good (or bad) as you think you are. No other opinions matter. The Heels soaked up too much of the "unbeatable" rhetoric instead of playing with focus.

UNC had already shown it can beat up teams but the FSU win showed it could win a close game when everything was working against them.

Why am I bringing this up now? Wake Forest and Duke couldn't win, or even come close, in similar road circumstances on Wednesday.

One more reason to like the Heels to close the ACC — the schedule. True, there are two games against Duke, but no Wake and no Clemson.

The three bad ACC teams — N.C. State, Virginia and Georgia Tech — all come to Chapel Hill.

The other three games are at Maryland (please) and at Miami and Virginia Tech.

-- J.P. Giglio


Anonymous said...

They are not in first place they are tied for it.
Must be nice haveing a cupcake schedule. Just look at their RPI.

Anonymous said...

To the poster below me..

Apparently you don't know how first place works. They are statisically in first place. Also, the schedule you call a cupcake has nothing to do with their ACC ranking. State fan? Duke fan? Which is it?

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 1.57: There's simply no comparable experience this season to playing in the Big East. So, you're right that the UNC hasn't had a difficult go. But citing the RPI? Really? Put down the Sporting News and join us here in the 21st Century:

Anonymous said...

Well, now that we've heard from a Carolina "reporter" maybe we can hear from an unbiased "reporter."