The end of the baseball season at the College World Series generally also means the end of the collegiate sports year. The baseball team’s deep run to Omaha kept the Tar Heels’ 2017-18 athletic year going, but with that over so are the various seasons.
With baseball’s deep run, the UNC athletic department finished the 2017-18 athletic year in 13th place in the Learfield Director’s Cup standings. The Director’s Cup standings are based on the performance of all sports across the athletic department across the sporting year.
The thirteen place finish in a country-wide Division I competition is pretty good on the surface, but is actually a dip from UNC’s normal status. In 2016-17, North Carolina finished fifth, thanks to the men’s basketball national championship, along with deep runs by various other teams. This year’s finish marks just the fourth time UNC has finished outside the top ten since the Director’s Cup’s inception in 1993-94. It’s also just the second finish lower than eighth in the last decade. Their best finish was first, which came in the inaugural year of the competition.
The majority of UNC’s points from this year came from men’s soccer, women’s lacross, and field hockey. All three fell in their various national semifinals in their respective sports.
Men’s basketball’s early exit from the tournament has to be considering among the big reasons for the Tar Heels not cracking the top ten again this year. Between that and football’s 3-9 season, Carolina missed out on some reliable points that they’ve gotten the last couple seasons.
Considering UNC’s general excellence in many sports, you would imagine they’ll make another run at a high finish next year.