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UNC Basketball: Tests and Exams

Proving themselves, on and off the court

NCAA Basketball: Jimmy V Classic-North Carolina at Connecticut Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

It’s nice to know when a test is coming. There was a time, in my own college career, that this wasn’t always the case (if you’re my parents, do me a favor and head on down to the next paragraph break; I’ll meet y’all there). On more than one unfortunate, panic-inducing occasion, I skipped the wrong classes and wandered my way back into a class after a few days’ absence only to discover, much to my chagrin, that I had given myself a pop exam.

My personal study habits (or obvious lack thereof) aside, it’s nice to be able to prepare. Better students than myself doubtlessly learned that lesson earlier in life, but I was always more adept at analyzing college sports schedules than syllabi, and the big games I circled on the calendar leading into each season always seemed to stick in my head more readily than where exams fell in a given semester. Hey, even the wrong order counts as technically having your priorities in order, and the way my brain processes the world through a college sports lens has suited me just fine since graduation.

Today has been circled on my calendar since the schedules were announced. The Kentucky Wildcats can always be counted on to be a test, and I expect this afternoon to be no exception. Yesterday was the last day of final exams for the fall semester back in Chapel Hill, and the Tar Heel men’s basketball team is in Atlanta to see how they measure up against John Calipari’s bad-blue blue-blood, picking up right where they left off in the midst of a murderer’s row with five of the last six games being played against at-the-time AP Top 25 teams (barring something truly wild and unfortunate befalling Oklahoma ahead of the game in Charlotte on Wednesday).

The Wildcats are always athletic and physical, but they’re not the death star that they’ve been in the past. Brandon Anderson, fellow Tar Heel Blog writer and editor extraordinaire, wrote the preview for today’s game, and highlighted that this game will certainly be a good measuring stick for (albeit not the most difficult challenge of the year).

The semester is over, but there are a few more tests remaining for this team before they can settle into ACC play. Here’s hoping the Tar Heels aren’t surprised by them.