Record: 31-7 overall, 11-5 ACC(1st place tie)
ACC Tournament: Won Championship
NCAA Tournament: Lost to Georgetown in the Elite Eight after leading by 10 with six minutes left and no I am still not over it.
Roster: Dewey Burke, Mike Copeland, Wayne Ellington, Bobby Frasor, Marcus Ginyard, Danny Green, Tyler Hansbrough, Ty Lawson, Wes Miller, Alex Stepheson, Reyshawn Terry, Quentin Thomas, Deon Thompson, Surry Wood, Brandan Wright.
Source: UNC Media Guide
I have debated what to say about this team considering most of this team is still intact, a minor miracle within itself considering this age of early NBA defections.
As much as we have agonized about the loss to Georgetown this was an interesting "growth" season for this team. The hype ahead of the 2007 season was insane and this blog was even a bit giddy over having the number one ranked PG, SG and PF in the nation join a 2006 team that went 23-8 and had Tyler Hansbrough. It was not surprising that everyone expected a great deal from this team and also not a surprise I guess that they exhibited a great many flaws.
The two issues which stand out the most to me was the inability to close out games and a seeming inconsistency in how functioned on the court. Both of those were related to the youth on this team but also to the 11 man rotation Roy used which make it difficult for many of the players to fit into a role leading to a general lack of cohesion. In other words they were one year away but even then still one of the best teams in the country with a legitimate shot at winning a national title. They needed to grow up and grow as a unit, something we saw them do in 2008 and something we hope they finish in 2009.
This season ended up with some very odd losses at interesting times such as losing to Virgina Tech twice, dropping games at Maryland and Georgia Tech and that mysterious debacle in Raleigh. Surrounding those losses were some huge wins such as the throttling of Arizona in Tuscon, beating Duke in Cameron and a huge win at Boston College during a Saturday night game on ESPN. The NCAA Tournament likewise had some hard fought wins that belied the nature of the team. UNC won a tough game versus Michigan State and then in the Sweet Sixteen found themselves in huge trouble versus USC before the Trojans imploded. Then came the Georgetown game which was a microcosm of the season that felt like ended a game too early.
Of course perhaps the biggest news story of the season and certainly the biggest for this blog was the infamous foul committed by Gerald Henderson on Tyler Hansbrough at the end of the Duke-UNC game in Chapel Hill. It was the perfect storm of events: It was UNC-Duke with a vicious foul resulting in a broken nose complete with blood pouring out of Hansbrough's nose. This was followed by asinine comments from Mike Krzyzewski afterwards coupled with downright idiotic ramblings of Billy Packer and did I mention it was UNC-Duke? It was a story so powerful that it still had plenty of life to it when UNC faced Duke during the 1st game in 2008.
In the end putting this team at #11 seems appropriate. They were very good but just short of the Final Four and in this case just short of the top ten in these rankings.
Countdown So Far