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Dayton 79-UNC 68: A Fitting End To UNC's Disappointing Men's Basketball Season

NEW YORK - APRIL 01:  London Warren #1 of the Dayton Flyers reacts after defeating the North Carolina Tar Heels during the 2010 NIT Championship Game at Madison Square Garden on April 1, 2010 in New York, New York.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images
Todd BoldizsarAnalyst IApril 2, 2010

 

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

Only a year ago, one of the NCAA's powerhouse dynasties was celebrating yet another National Championship under the reign of Coach Roy Williams.

However, the old adage "What goes up must come down" really stings when it's in reference to your team's recent hardships.

The devastation left behind in the wake of an NIT Championship loss to Dayton has the University of North Carolina spinning.

The Tar Heels finished with a record of 20-17 and will make no new additions to their trophy case.

In fact, the addition to the history books will mark a time of turmoil and uncertainty for the program.

Facing the Heels are staggering statistics that provide little hope for fans and Tar Heel faithful.

The 17 losses suffered this season are the second most in school history and only once has UNC returned to the tournament the first year following losses in 15 or more games (according to ESPN).

Whether this season will be the mark of a poor recruiting class or the start of a trend remains to be seen.

One thing that every journalist and expert knows: Dynasties don't just rise up and fall from one season to the next. The fact that the UNC not only didn't make the NCAA tournament, but also failed to capture an NIT title will most likely affect their recruiting class for next season.

However, coach Williams is no slouch when it comes to rebuilding after losses to graduation and the NBA draft.

Likewise, Dayton is no slouch when referring to hustle, determination and heart. The Flyers looked determined to carry out the mission and make a statement going in to next season.

Look for them to establish themselves in 2011. The NIT title was their first in 42 years and marks the arrival of a program on the up-and-up.

It is the signature trend of sports for teams and franchises to rise and fall. Experts can debate the futures of teams, athletes and coaches to the best of their abilities, but the result of this season for North Carolina might just make the anticipation for next season even greater than had they won the NCAA Championship.

Maybe following a poor opening act will make next season's success for the Tar Heels even sweeter.

In the words of every television nature special, "Only time will tell."

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