North Carolina made the Maui Invitational look like slight work – beating their opponents by an average of 29 points. And with every shot, every dunk, every blowout, Carolina faithful’s expectations for their team grew and grew.
Beginning of last year I was super vocal stating we’d win 32 games & a National Championship. I missed one.
Won’t miss this year. #UNC ????
— IG: iamBDAHT (@BDAHT) November 24, 2016
"EVERYONE TALKING BOUT DUKE'S FRESHMEN, ACTING ALL WACK, BUT TAR HEELS BOUT TO TAKE THE ACC BACK-TO-BACK" pic.twitter.com/ffAUUrniJ2
— Connor Jr. (@connortheOGfam) November 24, 2016
I think my Tarheels gonna win it all this year. Something about this team and we won Maui.
— Mark From Gastonia (@markbaker3030) November 24, 2016
I wanted to tweet it last night, but I’ll put it in writing so you know it’s real. North Carolina looks nice…really nice, but y’all need to slow down with the National Championship talk. Yes they’ve been blowing teams out, but I’m not handing out any awards OR making them my favorite in March after beating teams like Tulane, Chattanooga, Chaminade, Hawaii or Long Beach State. No shade to those squads, but this is North Carolina, one of the top five teams in the country, that’s what they’re supposed to be doing against those opponents. And before Tar Heel enthusiasts come in my mentions saying I’m hating, head coach Roy Williams agrees with me.
“Let’s not jump on the dadgum victory celebration yet. We played a team last night and a team tonight that I think would be ranked in the top 50 to 75. We haven’t played murderer’s row yet. Talk to me after we play Indiana at Indiana and Kentucky and Monmouth and all those people.
But I’m not going to go out and make my reservations for the Final Four. I don’t even know where the hell it is. I thought everything was in Phoenix. Isn’t that where the Super Bowl is, too? I’m serious. I’m not jumping on any boat trying to figure out how great we are. We can stink it up with the rest of them.
We’ve just got to get better every day. I’ve never seen a national championship won the day before Thanksgiving. It’s usually won that first Monday night in April.”
No, me and Roy aren’t trying to be “Debbie Downers.” We’re not hating. We’re just trying to get fans to realize it’s still early. There’s nothing wrong with getting excited about your team in November, especially when they’ve been playing as well as UNC has, but CHILL with booking your tickets to the Final Four. The road isn’t getting any easier from here with Indiana and Kentucky on the horizon and a brutal ACC schedule right around the corner. BUT, if North Carolina blows out a Hoosier team looking for vindication after a recent loss to Fort Wayne and the Wildcats who will be their first opponent who can match the Heels’ size and athleticism, then maybe I’d start casually looking for flights in April.
* Point Guard Joel Berry II was named tournament MVP and Kennedy Meeks was on the All-Tournament team. Joining him was Roundel Goodwin from Chaminade, Jawun Evans from Oklahoma State, Jalen Adams from UConn and Ethan Happ from Wisconsin.
* This North Carolina’s 3rd Maui Invitational Championship under Roy Williams. Tar Heel teams who won the event in previous years went on to win a National Championship.