North Carolina could be 1st preseason No. 1 to miss NCAA Tournament in 64-team era. The Tar Heels could be on the outside looking in as we head towards Selection Sunday.
#13 Virginia beat North Carolina on Thursday night 68-59 in an ACC quarterfinal matchup. The loss more than likely will put the Tar Heels in the NIT if they chose to go and not the NCAA tournament.
History Could Repeat Itself
The last time the AP number 1 team missed the NCAA Tournament was back in 1975 when NC State was ranked 7th in the final AP poll but missed the NCAA Tournament after losing in the ACC Championship Game.
More recently, only five AP top-5 teams have missed the NCAA Tournament since the field expanded to 64 teams in 1985, and none since Kentucky in 2012-13 (No. 3).
Highest-Ranked Teams in Preseason AP Poll – Missed NCAA Tournament Since 1985
1986-87 Louisville 2
2012-13 Kentucky 3
1984-85 Indiana 4
2006-07 LSU 5
2003-04 Missouri 5
The last time North Carolina was ranked in the preseason and missed the NCAA Tournament was in 2009-10 (preseason rank: No. 6).
North Carolina will likely become the first team in the AP poll era to be unranked in the final AP poll in four straight seasons after being ranked in the preseason.
What Happened to North Carolina This Year?
A lack of big wins, and offensive and defensive efficiency rankings outside the top 40 nationally have derailed UNC’s season.
1-9 in Quad 1 games (only win: Feb. 25 vs Virginia)
Adjusted efficiency ranks – Offense: 51st, Defense: 41st, Overall: 45th
31.2% on 3-pt FG (317th in D-I)
14.9% opponent turnover rate (346th in D-I)
Why Was This Demise Surprising?
6 of 7 players to play in 2022 National Championship Game returned to school (only exception: Brady Manek)
24th in D-I in experience
15th in D-I in minutes continuity
If Hubert Davis and North Carolina miss the tournament, it will mean Kansas’ Bill Self is the only Final Four coach from last season to return this year after Mike Krzyzewski and Jay Wright retired.
We will discuss this and lots more later today on Shemon and Sheppard 2-6pm.