Some basketball news for those really dying for some. College Basketball Roundtable takes up the question of whether UNC can win the title and go undefeated. The two of the three panelists basically point to parity as the biggest obstacle to such a feat being accomplished. Andrew Skwara takes a position pretty similar to my thinking on the matter:
With how close Illinois came four seasons ago, I think you have to say there's a legitimate chance. The Illini won their first 29 games before suffering a one-point loss on a 3-pointer in the final seconds. Their only other loss came to North Carolina in the national-title game.
This season's Tar Heels are the team with the best chance of going undefeated of anyone we have seen in quite some time, perhaps since that mega-talented UNLV squad in 1990-91. Not only do the Tar Heels have a tremendous combination of talent and experience, but there is a glaring lack of other great teams out there. Connecticut is No. 2 in our preseason rankings, and the Huskies were knocked out in the first round of the NCAA tournament last season.
The Tar Heels aren't facing a particularly difficult schedule, either. Only two non-conference games are losable – the finale of the Maui Invitational (the opponent should be Notre Dame or Texas) and a matchup with Michigan State (a preseason top-15 team) at Ford Field that's part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. In the ACC, there are only four to five teams even capable of beating the Tar Heels.
I realize the odds are heavily against UNC. There have been teams with more talent and better chemistry (that's what made Illinois so special in 2004-05) that have fallen short. But I still wouldn't be shocked to see the Tar Heels make history. The perfect storm for an undefeated run is in place.
Yes, these are long odds. I think this is one of those times you ask the question one of my professors in seminary used to ask: "It's possible, but is it probable?" Honestly speaking I have looked at the Heels' schedule and they will be favored in every game they play. I also agree with Skwara, the potential title game in Maui is one they could lose as is the game against Michigan State. Outside of that? Five road games in the ACC: Duke, Wake, Virginia Tech, Miami and NCSU(yes, seriously.) Of course UNC went undefeated away from the Dean Dome last season(save the Final Four loss) so perhaps not. I actually think if there is perfect season afoot, the ACC Tournament is liable to be the place UNC drops a game.
Granted this is all wild speculation(a recurring theme here at THF today) but winning the title is the real goal...the rest of this matters not as long as the Heels get the ring.