North Carolina College Basketball Teams Aim for the NCAA Tournament

North Carolina College Basketball Teams Aim for the NCAA Tournament

Louie Bain

Here in North Carolina, college basketball is one of the most popular sports in the state. How are three of the state’s most popular teams doing now compared to past seasons? 

North Carolina’s big three, NC State, UNC, and Duke, are all having surprisingly uncharacteristic seasons. UNC and Duke have historically shown that they are powerhouse teams with great chances of winning the big tournaments. NC State is usually characterized as the little brother of the three due to not always doing well in conference play. However, for the 22-23 season, this has not been the case for the 3 teams. 

UNC’s record this year is 17-11. They are ranked 7th in the ACC below Duke and NC State. UNC is not currently ranked or in the NCAA tournament field due to losing 8 out of the 8 games against tough teams and being 2-7 in road games. Despite UNC’s poor team performance, their roster is full of young talented players in Caleb Love, Leaky Black, and Armando Bacot. With this roster and it being the last week of the regular season, this is their last chance to pull out wins to make it to the NCAA tournament. 

Duke’s season has been better, but still not up to expectations. Their overall record of 20-8 is not bad and has them ranked 6th in the ACC. They have not lost at home all regular season and are on a four game winning streak. With this kind of momentum going into the end of the regular season, they’re certain to climb the seeds in the ACC and make the NCAA tournament. 

NC State has surprisingly been having a better regular season than both Duke and UNC. Their overall record is 22-8 and 12-7 in conference play. NC State is coming off of a loss to Clemson, who’s ranked 4th in the ACC. Losing hard games has tended to be a trend this season for NC State. NC State’s next game is against Duke, who’s been on fire. If State wants to make it to the NCAA tournament they have got to start winning these hard games. 

With the regular season coming to an end this week, and the ACC tournament starting on March 7, UNC, Duke, and NC State all need to win more games and step it up to make it to the NCAA tournament. The ACC tournament could be the final display of North Carolina basketball this season, or it could be the way our favorite teams make it to the NCAA tournament.