Tar Heels leaving their fans frustrated
By Shawn Stinson
Win two, lose one. Win two, lose one. Win three, lose one. Win three, lose one.
If this pattern continues, then North Carolina should be set to capture its next four games, which includes Wednesday’s contest against Miami, Saturday’s showdown at Syracuse as well as matchups with Boston College and Virginia before losing at home to Clemson.
What a second, there’s no way the Tar Heels would ever lose to the Tigers in Chapel Hill.
For 87 years and 56 matchups Clemson has yet to have anything to celebrate at the final buzzer in any place UNC has called home.
Nothing at all in 56 games.
Think about this — it took 56 games for American League pitchers to finally stop Joe DiMaggio from getting a hit.
So could this be the year when the Tigers finally end the streak?
Because this has been one of those seasons for the Tar Heels.
From the distractions off the court centered around P.J. Hairston and Leslie McDonald to the team’s inconsistent play on it, coach Roy Williams has to wonder are the Tar Heels are contenders or pretenders.
Just when UNC appeared to be pointed in the right direction following wins over Michigan State and Kentucky, it took a step back against Texas. This is the same Longhorn team which was manhandled by the Spartans by 14 points at home.
Then things nearly went from bad to worse for UNC. It needed a missed shot by Davidson’s Brian Sullivan at the end of regulation to avoid the upset and go on to pull out an overtime victory.
Even a made-for-victory contests with Northern Kentucky and UNC Wilmington were harder than expected.
Toss in Sunday’s loss to Wake Forest and even the most die-hard Tar Heel fans have to be thinking maybe it is time to ponder if baseball coach Mike Fox can take his team back to Omaha again.
It’s those pesky wins over Louisville, Kentucky and Michigan State that won’t allow because it shows the team has the ability on any given night to stand toe-to-toe with the nation’s best.
North Carolina isn’t alone in its woes because a few miles up the road in Durham, Duke is battling the same problems.
The Blue Devils were thought to be amongst the nation’s elite but in reality they were feasting on cupcakes like Florida Atlantic, UNC Asheville and Elon. Except for a 10-point win over Michigan, Duke fell in its other matchups with schools expected to vie for a national championship — Arizona and Kansas.
Even the start to the ACC season didn’t go as planned for Duke, losing at Notre Dame. However, a favorable schedule over the next few weeks should allow things to get back on track in Durham.
But the way this season has been in, who knows.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @scgolfer.
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