North Carolina men’s basketball made dubious history Sunday, with the Tar Heels not making the NCAA Tournament since 1985 after being ranked No. 1 in the AP preseason poll.
The Tar Heels finished runner-up to the eventual national champion Kansas Jayhawks in last year’s national championship. In their first season, the team was led by Hubert Davis, who replaced Roy Williams as head coach, and their run led to the return of Armando Bacote, who had an incredible postseason run.
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However, after a 20-13 overall record and failing to make a real impact in the ACC Tournament, the Tar Heels were left out of the field of 68. They were among the top four in appearance.
North Carolina was invited to the National Invitation Tournament but declined.
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“Our focus and goal all season is to be the best team we can be and reach our full potential to give us another chance to compete, play and win the NCAA Championship,” Davis said. “Even though we no longer have that opportunity and this season is not what we hoped it would be, I want to thank our players and staff for their hard work and love for Carolina basketball.
“There are many factors that go into postseason play, and we believe now is the time to focus on moving forward, getting ready for next season, and competing for the ACC and NCAA championships again. I also want to thank our amazing fans for their incredible support. It’s our commitment to you. – something that drives us to improve our program in every way.”
It’s the first time the Tar Heels have missed the tournament since the 2009-10 season. No tournament was held in the 2019-20 season due to the coronavirus pandemic.
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North Carolina last won the tournament in 2017.