Being #1

This is not meant to exude any sort of arrogance but I am always a little amused at how quickly folks point out to you that being #1 in the preseason or any other poll during the year “does not mean anything” and “all that matters is the final poll” or even “everyone is going to give you their best shot.”

Let me just say on behalf of all Tar Heel fans everywhere: We know this. You know why we know it? Because we have been here before. We all remember all those seasons past where UNC either started the season #1 or found themselves there at some point.  UNC fans know that being ranked #1 at any point prior to whatever poll comes out the day after the national championship is utterly meaningless. It is nice to look at and you always like seeing that “1” in front of North Carolina on game schedules and scoreboards. But UNC fans are painfully aware, in more ways than we can count, how fleeting #1 can be and it is worth as much as Confederate paper money if you are not standing next to Jim Nantz and Billy Packer following the final game of the season.

As for getting everyone’s best shot. UNC always gets everyone’s best shot. That is the price paid for being wildly successful in the same sport for 50 years. The point is we know the drill and the truth be told I would rather lurk between two and four in the poll since there seems to be less pressure there.

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5 Responses to Being #1

  1. JPH says:

    All of us over at Triple Tri agree with you — we just just talking about this the other day. #1 puts a bullseye on your back and the pressure can be extreme. I’d rather be down the page and creep up through the season – as long as you’re #1 that beautiful day in April — that’s all that matters.

  2. Josh Bowling says:

    I do not know that being ranked number one or ten changes anything. We are targets because of that North Carolina that is on our jerseys(well, used to be) and the historical dominance that we possess. Go ahead and rank us # 25, and see how much “easier” it is on us. I will gladly take that number one. I do think it is a little hyped up for what I would consider a # 1 to be. I am not sure we are the best team in the nation. But I like gathering up pre-season number one’s as part of our endless achievments. I just hope, like all, that we end the season there, fullfilling the prophecy.

  3. Tar Heel alum and fan says:

    Showing my age, I recall the year Sports Illustrated put Michael Jordan and Sam Perkins on the cover of their annual basketball review, ranking UNC as number 1. In the NCAAs we were upset. I agree that I prefer UNC to be in the top 10 and inch up. But it also shows what a good team we have this year.

  4. Black Mountain Sophmore says:

    Whole team–and Dean–minus Jordan on the SI cover before the ’82 season. Worked out OK.

  5. DeanForever says:

    Preseason #1 is just more gloss on the initial coat…hopefully the shine isn’t significantly dulled by season’s end. This team has a lot of chemistry and, if they defend well, can play with anyone in the country. Let’s talk #1 after the Ohio State and Kentucky games. They may not be UCLA or Kansas, but they’re still pretty darn good (at least as measuring sticks for UNC’s road-readiness). I still say Deon Thompson is the key.

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