UNC 70, Tennessee 57

I haven't written anything about the women's basketball team this year. In fact, I've devoted more space to the N.C. State women's team than the Tar Heels. In part this is because there's not much to say. The team is good, beating its first seven opponents by an average margin of 49 points. Their opponents before today have not been much to speak of, and the team has pretty much picked right where last year's Final Four team left off.

Now after Sunday's game against Tennessee, we finally got to see how the Heels stand up against real competition, and the answer is sloppily, but well. The returning trio of Erlana Larkins, Ivory Latta and Camille Little brought in 40 points and 23 rebounds and overpowered an improved Volunteer squad. There's a disconcerting lack of depth, as only two women off the bench played five minutes or more. This could spell problems in a conference with Maryland and Duke, who routinely playes nine and ten respectively, although not against Tennessee-level competition yet. The Tar Heels, like their male counterparts, have a light schedule for the rest of the calendar year, not picking up conference play until January. They'll remain in the upper heights of the polls until then, but the ACC slate should prove rather interesting. As Graham Hays put it for ESPN,

"Hatchell and the Tar Heels have the ultimate argument on their side in favor of the status quo, needing only to point to their perfect 7-0 record. But they were the best team in December last season as well, only to watch other teams catch up with them in March and April."
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