UNC Basketball: Best-Case, Worst-Case Scenarios in ACC Tournament

Rollin YeattsFeatured ColumnistMarch 10, 2013

UNC Basketball: Best-Case, Worst-Case Scenarios in ACC Tournament

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    Following the humiliating loss to Duke on Saturday night, it's pretty obvious what the worst-case scenario would be for UNC basketball in the ACC tournament. But could the Tar Heels possibly do the unthinkable?

    Could they be the ones to cut down the nets on Sunday?

    In the following slides, we'll break down their chances and find out what this writer believes North Carolina's best-case scenario would be.

     

    ACC tournament odds are courtesy of TeamRankings.com.

UNC's Worst-Case Scenario in ACC Tournament

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    Watching the game on Saturday night was miserable for anyone that lives and breathes North Carolina basketball. The only swagger to be found was donning black and blue on the court or sitting in the stands.

    Naturally the first instinct would be to say UNC could end up one-and-done in the tourney following that loss.

    But I don't believe it to be true.

    On Friday, No. 3 North Carolina will take on the winner of No. 6 Florida State and No. 11 Clemson. The Seminoles have had the Tigers' number this season (2-0), and they have a 51.66 percent chance of moving to the next round.

    It will likely be FSU playing in the quarterfinals, and it would be hard to believe Carolina doesn't pick itself back up before then. As poorly as the Tar Heels played, they beat the teams they are supposed to.

    It's the other ones they have to worry about.

    One of those "others" is the Duke Blue Devils, who the Tar Heels would have to play on Saturday. That is, assuming Duke beats Maryland or Wake Forest. Would anyone like to bet against the Blue Devils?

    I don't think so.

    And my guess is that not many will be placing wagers on North Carolina in Round 3 of the rivalry, either. Duke has topped UNC twice this year, including one game without Ryan Kelly.

    The other was a blowout.

    Duke versus North Carolina could mark the end of the Tar Heels' short—but not-so-sweet—tournament run. And Tar Heel fans will be flocking to the closest caves.

    Duke is given a 65.19 percent chance of making it to the title game.

UNC's Best-Case Scenario

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    As far as North Carolina's chances—well—they aren't so high. It is the third-most likely team to end up in the championship, behind Duke and Miami, at 27.25 percent.

    So I'm telling you there's a chance. Just not much of one.

    This team has the talent. But does it have the the fortitude and the ability to learn from mistakes and adapt?

    This is a jump-shooting team, and I've seen few signs of that stigma going away. That is why this team is so streaky this season.

    If the players aren't burying threes, they aren't winning. But that also means they are capable of putting together a hot streak that lasts through the weekend, and ends with them cutting down the nets.

    More than likely, that would mean going through Duke and Miami. The Tar Heels haven't defeated either team this season.

    According to TeamRankings.com, they have just a 14.2 percent chance of winning the title. As unlikely as it may be, few conferences can match the wackadoo nature of the ACC this season.

    Anything can happen. And if you don't believe that, you haven't watched enough games.

    Roy Williams has only brought home two ACC tournament titles over his nine complete seasons. However, neither has come with a national championship team—and this one falls under that category.

    Many would agree his lack of success has been his lack of enthusiasm for the "cocktail party." He doesn't appear to push them in the ACC tourney unless they have something to prove.

    In 2007, the Tar Heels had that. They were 11-5 in the ACC, and had lost four of their last nine games before the tourney. They came away with the title, and would later advance to the Elite Eight in the NCAA tournament.

    So is it likely that Carolina could come away with another banner for their rafters? No.

    Is it possible? Absolutely.