And you thought I forgot about this.
The annual tradition of judging the team from the past season against every team since 1982 is again upon us. For a refresher here are the previous entries go here.
Here are the vitals for the 2013-14 team.
Record: 26-12, 11-7 ACC(5th)
ACC Tournament: Lost in Finals
NCAA Tournament: Lost in Sweet Sixteen
Roster: Joel Berry, Nate Britt, Justin Coleman, Luke Davis, Isaiah Hicks, Desmond Hubert, Justin Jackson, Joel James, Brice Johnson, Kennedy Meeks, Marcus Paige, Theo Pinson, Sasha Seymore, Jackson Simmons, J.P. Tokoto
The manner in which the season unfolded for this team also makes it tough to peg for the rankings. Based on the very easy comparison to 1992 and the fact this team is probably ahead of 2014, here is the debated range.
What makes placing this team difficult is I am not sure the team we saw over the final 2-3 weeks of the season was the same one prior to that. Much of that stems from Marcus Paige not being fully healthy until the beginning of March. That, in concert with Justin Jackson's emergence as a legitimate perimeter scoring threat, made UNC a much better team. The Tar Heels beat both Louisville and Virginia in the ACC Tournament and played competitively with the national runner-up Wisconsin in the Sweet Sixteen. Of course this is still a team that had trouble closing the deal in games as evidenced by letting a huge lead versus Harvard slip away and almost losing the game as a result.
Ultimately the question here is should this team be ranked ahead of 1992 or behind it. Probably behind it mainly because I am not sure this team is nearly as talented as that one. 1992 went 24-10 in a smaller and much tougher ACC and even handed eventual champion Duke one of its only two losses that season. The edge, as small as it may be, goes to 1992.
And again we are reminded of both the blessing and curse of being a UNC fan. We have been witnesses to some really good teams, far outweighing the bad. However three straight seasons in the bottom third of this list makes a fan base antsy. Hopefully 2016 can make the big leap to the top ten much like 1993 did.