North Carolina Men's Basketball 2014 NCAA Tournament Capsule

North Carolina Tar Heels
ACC (23-9, 13-5)


From the start of conference play, the North Carolina Tar Heels seemed primed to ruin any and all good feelings that were derived from nabbing some of the biggest out-of-conference victories in the country. However, an extended and impressive win-streak near the end of the season put all doubts to rest about the upside of this particular squad. After all, they were the first team in history to ever beat the AP preseason 1, 2, 3, and 4 ranked teams all in the same season.

Big Wins: 11/24 vs Louisville (93-84), 12/4 at Michigan State (79-65), 2/20 Duke (74-66)
Bad Losses: 12/1 at UAB (59-63), 1/5 at Wake Forest (67-73), 1/8 Miami (FL) (57-63)
Coach: Roy Williams (11 seasons at North Carolina)

Why They Can Surprise:
If the huge wins over Michigan State, Kentucky, Louisville and Duke weren't enough, North Carolina rolled through the entire month of February without as much as a blip on their schedule. What this Tar Heels team does well is a bit unexpected compared to past iterations of Roy Williams' squads. They still get up and down and run a lot. That much has not changed. UNC still scores points with the best of them. But what makes this team special is on the defensive end and on the boards. With a rolling list of forwards to bring in, UNC is one of the best rebounding, specifically offensive rebounding, teams in the country. They get so many extra possessions each game because of that strength. While James Michael McAdoo and freshman Kennedy Meeks have been a couple of the stars of this team, without question, the best player on North Carolina is Marcus Paige. An elite free-throw shooter, Paige took a huge leap this season from where he was as a freshman. If the forwards dominate the glass and bring it on defense, Paige is the offensive weapon that makes the whole system work. He is a possible Player of the Year candidate this season thanks to his great shooting and ability to take over games in the second half.

Why They Can Disappoint:
For as good as North Carolina has been on the defensive end, their offense is not always up to par. Other than Paige, this team has no one who can consistently score. Overall, UNC is one of the very worst teams in the nation shooting from the foul line and from the three-point line. Logistically, this creates tons of problems. Suffering from three makes it hard for UNC to cut into huge deficits if they aren't blocking shots and forcing mistakes by the opponent. And terrible foul shooting makes it nearly impossible to close out games late with small leads. It is a dangerous combination that could make the Heels susceptible to losing at any point, to any opponent, as evidenced by their few horrendous losses this regular season. There is a reason Carolina lost to UAB the game after defeating #3 Louisville. It is explainable how they could have lost four of their first five conference games and ended up sweeping the entire month of February right after.

Probable Starters:
Marcus Paige, Sophomore, Guard, 17.4 ppg, 4.3 ppg
Leslie McDonald, Senior, Guard, 10.3 ppg, 1.5 apg
J.P. Tokoto, Sophomore, Forward, 9.2 ppg, 3.0 apg, 5.8 rpg
James Michael McAdoo, Junior, Forward, 14.2 ppg, 6.7 rpg
Kennedy Meeks, Freshman, Forward, 7.2 ppg, 5.9 rpg

Key Roleplayers:
Brice Johnson, Sophomore, Forward, 10.4 ppg, 6.2 rpg
Nate Britt, Freshman, Guard, 5.3 ppg, 2.4 apg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 76.4 (49th in nation, 2nd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 68.7 (137, 11)
Field-Goal Percentage: 46.5 (68, 3)
Field-Goal Defense: 40.8 (54, 6)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 4.2 (340, 15)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: n/a
Free-Throw Percentage: 62.4 (340, 15)
Rebound Margin: 5.3 (24, 3)
Assists Per Game: 15.7 (23, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.0 (141, 10)

Recent Postseason Appearances:
2013    NCAA    Second Round win over Villanova
2013    NCAA    Third Round loss to Kansas
2012    NCAA    Second Round win over Vermont
2012    NCAA    Third Round win over Creighton
2012    NCAA    Regional Semifinal win over Ohio
2012    NCAA    Regional Final loss to Kansas
2011    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Long Island
2011    NCAA    Round of 32 win over Washington
2011    NCAA    Regional Semifinal win over Marquette
2011    NCAA    Regional Final loss to Kentucky
2010    NIT        First Round win over William & Mary
2010    NIT        Second Round win over Mississippi State
2010    NIT        Quarterfinal win over UAB
2010    NIT        Semifinal win over Rhode Island
2010    NIT        Final loss to Dayton
2009    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Radford
2009    NCAA    Round of 32 win over LSU
2009    NCAA    Regional Semifinal win over Gonzaga
2009    NCAA    Regional Final win over Oklahoma
2009    NCAA    National Semifinal win over Villanova
2009    NCAA    National Final win over Michigan State
2008    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Mount St. Mary's
2008    NCAA    Round of 32 win over Arkansas
2008    NCAA    Regional Semifinal win over Washington State
2008    NCAA    Regional Final win over Louisville
2008    NCAA    National Semifinal loss to Kansas
2007    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Eastern Kentucky
2007    NCAA    Round of 32 win over Michigan State
2007    NCAA    Regional Semifinal win over USC
2007    NCAA    Regional Final loss to Georgetown

*all team stats through 3/9


See All Men’s Basketball Postseason Capsules