Once again, the willingness of Roy Williams to put his team through the non conference ringer will pay off. Undoubtedly, the most important reason for the tough scheduling was to make his team better and gain valuable experience up and down the roster.
However, as you will see below, the tough scheduling and the performance in those games are critical factors for the North Carolina Tar Heels having such impressive metrics in spite of nine losses.
AP Poll: 12
- Carolina started No. 9 in the polls and remained in the top 10 for three weeks before dipping outside the top 10. The high water mark for UNC was No. 5 in Week 7, and bottomed out at No. 21 during Week 14. The Heels are currently at No. 12.
USA Today Coaches Poll: 11
- The Coaches Poll followed a similar trajectory. UNC peaked at No. 4 and their lowest ranking was at No. 22.
- After last night’s victory over Duke, Carolina has 11 wins versus RPI Top 50 (Q1) teams. Those 11 wins are the second most in the nation. Their RPI now stands at .6368.
- As of last night, Carolina has an adjusted efficiency margin of +25.23, seventh overall. The adjusted offensive efficiency is at 121.8, good for fifth in the country.
Matt Ferenchick pointed out that UNC’s adjusted defensive efficiency was ranked in the 40s last week. After the Duke win, Carolina is ranked 25th in the nation at 96.6. This is a testament to the defensive improvement in the ACC Tournament.
The Tar Heels are tops in all KenPom scheduling metrics. They are ranked first in adjusted strength of schedule ranking (+13.58), average adjusted offensive efficiency of opposing offenses (112.5), and average adjusted defensive efficiency of opposing defenses (98.9).
Carolina is ranked 49th in adjusted tempo (71.3). This is the lowest of the Roy Williams era, and the third lowest since the inception of the KenPom ratings. Only the last two years of the Matt Doherty era had slower tempos.
- Carolina’s BPI rating is 16.5, seventh in the country. UNC’s offensive BPI rating is fifth in the country (10.7), and their defensive BPI rating is 26th overall (5.8).
Strength of Schedule: 1
- Carolina has the toughest schedule in the country, and this will only be solidified with tonight’s ACC Championship game against Virginia.
Strength of Record: 8
- This metric is based on how hard it is to achieve their current record based on scheduling. The loss versus Wofford, and January defeats versus Virginia Tech and NC State had the biggest effect on this rating.