The North Carolina Tarheels have a one of the most storied traditions in all of college basketball. Even with their high standards, what they have accomplished over the last few seasons ranks among the best runs in school history. The Tarheels have played in back to back National Title games, and they are a Kris Jenkins buzzer beater away from being the two-time defending champions. It can be difficult for players to leave lasting mark on such a tradition rich program, but UNC’s senior class has managed to do just that. Joel Berry II, Kenny Williams and Theo Pinson have all played integral parts to North Carolina’s recent run of success. Coach Roy Willliams’ team had some struggles early in ACC play this season, but seem to have righted the ship in the last few weeks.
North Carolina Tarheels Look to extend March Success
The North Carolina Tarheels scuffled slightly to begin ACC play. Everyone knows how good the conference is in basketball, and those slip ups can occur even for the best teams. However, UNC sat at 5-5 in league play and had lost three straight after an 82-78 loss in Clemson. The Tarheel defense was struggling and some questioned the heart and toughness of this team. Williams’ team did not back down though, and have caught fire in the two weeks since.
After a dominant win over a bad Pitt team, North Carolina then won back to back games over instate rivals Duke and N.C. State. A convincing 83-66 win over Notre Dame earlier this week means the Tarheels have now won four in a row and are playing some of their best basketball as March approaches. The ACC allows for no breaks in the schedule, and North Carolina will now go on the road for three of their next four.
Joel Berry II has had a career to remember in Chapel Hill. It takes a lot to go down as an all-time great at a program like North Carolina, but Berry has left his mark. He has 1673 points, 413 assists, and 148 steals in his career. He was named to the All-Tournament team for each of the last two seasons and was the MOP of the Final Four a year ago. Berry has raised his game to another level this season, averaging 17.5 points per game. He is the unquestioned leader of this team. Berry has been forced to carry an even heavier load lately. An injury to Seventh Woods and the suspension of Jalek Felton have hampered the team’s back court depth. Guard play and experience can be determining factors once the tournament rolls around, and the Tarheels are in good hands with Berry running the show.
It is inevitable that with a run of success like UNC has enjoyed lately, there will eventually be a need to replace a lot of talent. North Carolina has had a long list of big men stars for them over the years. This list includes …read more