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UNC proves they are who we thought they were in second half collapse against NC State

That’s all, folks.

NCAA Basketball: North Carolina at N.C. State Jaylynn Nash-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Lunardi appeared during UNC’s game against NC State on Sunday to discuss the Tar Heels being the first team out in his Bracketology. With that being the case, and what happened after, it’s time to come to grips with the fact that this team likely won’t be making the NCAA Tournament without divine intervention.

Carolina had a six-point lead in the second half despite the fact that they had turned over the ball numerous times that gifted the Wolfpack double-digit points. That lead quickly evaporated and turned into a 27-9 stretch for NC State. A game that had been close was suddenly close no more, and UNC came away with a 77-69 loss.

Pointing out that UNC won’t be making the tournament isn’t an argument against it, mind you. They don’t deserve it. There were only two Quad 1 opportunities left on the schedule after they previously dropped all eight of their opportunities. At this point, there is just little way to justify putting the Tar Heels in the field. It would take winning the ACC Tournament, and even then, it would be nearly impossible to feel good about their chances right from the jump.

Caleb Love led the way for Carolina with 23 points on 4-8 shooting from beyond the arc. Even with that, he was 7-17 from the field. Armando Bacot was the only other Tar Heel in double figures with 16 points and 14 rebounds. Leaky Black finished with nine points and eight rebounds, just missing a double-double.

The eight-point loss came despite the fact that, like last time, Carolina enjoyed a huge advantage at the free throw line. UNC made 18 of their 24 free throws while State shot just ten. The Wolfpack won the game and then some with their 16 points scored off 13 turnovers. They protected the ball much better, only turning it over three times all game. State also handily won the battle of points in the paint, 46-26.

So what is there to say that hasn’t been said a hundred times already this season? Not much! It’s been a frustrating and disappointing season following last season’s fairy tale run. Even if it’s clear they shouldn’t have opened the season ranked #1 in the country, there’s also little explanation for why they are this bad. Sadly, the program will have plenty of time to try and figure out where it all went wrong this offseason.

UNC is back in action on Wednesday on the road at Notre Dame.