Undefeated?

I have been toying with this question for about a week discussing it with at least one of my readers in the comments section and that is the possibility that UNC could finish the regular season undefeated. Carolina March takes up the issue citing Seth Davis who believes UNC, Memphis and Kansas can possibly get there because they each have three or fewer games on the schedule versus the top 25. Davis also questions whether going unblemished through the regular season is a good idea more on that in a minute. Anyway, I think CM hits the nail on the head when he points out the Davis theory is flawed because it bases the chances on how many games versus the top 25 they have left. The issue there is the top 25’s fluidity from week to week. In fact since Davis wrote that article, UNC has added another top 25 team to the schedule in Miami.

My own thoughts on UNC possibly going undefeated in the regular season echoes something one of my professors in seminary used to ask: “It’s possible, but is it probable?” I honestly believe, on paper, UNC can win every game left on the schedule at this point. That includes the game at Cameron in March. That does not mean they will win but I think their chances to win are better than their chances of losing from here until the ACC Tournament. That being said, playing in the ACC(and this era of college basketball in general) is a fickle deal. One never knows what set of events will transpire to steal a victory from the hands of a favored team.

As for the benefits of losing now to take the pressure off for later, Roy Williams is on record as saying he thinks losing a game might be the only thing that gets his guys to play better defense. We will see about that. Given it has been 32 years since anyone finished a title season with zero losses, history does not favor the team that enters their conference tournament or the NCAA Tournament undefeated. But as CM points out the odds are about the same for the one loss teams too.

In the end I say try to win them all and see what happens. Who knows, this year might be the year and UNC might be that team. It’s possible, I just don’t think it is probable.

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34 Responses to Undefeated?

  1. C. Michael says:

    People always talk about the media scrutiny, but to me, that would be somewhat mitigated if you had 3 teams charging hard at an undefeated season. I have to admit, the thought of having two 38-0 teams, and and one 37-0 team in the Final 4, while ridiculously unlikely, is unbelievably tantalizing.

  2. 52BigGameJames says:

    ain’t gonna happen and I wouldn’t have been terribly disappointed had they lost at Clemson. Take a look at what additional external pressure did to Roger Maris–there’s enough pressure in Div 1 without throwing more books in the knapsack. I’ve heard it mentioned too and frankly I’m surprised it’s even a topic–must be a piggyback topic to the Patriots season?

  3. C. Michael says:

    If Clemson wasn’t the first ACC game, it would have been the “perfect” game to lose.

  4. william says:

    Well, the ACC is a little down this year and that is one necessity.

    Second, you have to be lucky and Sunday night we had plenty of that with missed free throws, fortunate bounces and a nice shot at the end.

    Third, you have to be deep or not have any injuries. In 1982, our starters only lost one game, but Wake did beat us without Sam Perkins.

    Fourth, you have to be consistent. We were very consistent in 1982 and came reasonably close to going undefeated, but got blown out in Charlottesville. The 1984 team might have been better overall, but they were less consistent and had injuries and ended up losing three games. This was probably true for Duke in 1999 as well, They had two bad games, their first one and their last one.

    Mathematically, it can be proven that between two equally good teams, or even one slightly less good and one slightly better, the more consistent one has the better chance to both win the NCAA tournament and to go undefeated.

    This would not be much true in the NBA, where they play best of seven and variability is much less of an issue in the play-offs.

  5. william says:

    Illinois came reasonably close to being undefeated three years ago. They lost a meaningless last regular season game to OSU and then lost a close one to us, although they were lucky, lucky, lucky to beat Arizona.

  6. 52BigGameJames says:

    good point–I’m not complaining mind you, lol. IMO, for it to even be a reasonable possibility, Thomson, Green and Ginyard are going to have to really step up–Green has shown major flashes, but I don’t think T & Marcus have even come close to hitting their respective potential yet. That’s what’s fun about watching Roy work his magic.

    Not apples to apples but I’ve been frustrated with my 11 year old’s tentativeness in both soccer and hoops–last night he really asserted himself and had a great game, and you could literally see his confidence bloom. That wouldn’t be nearly as enjoyable as watching some little “sports-robot” imo.

  7. william says:

    You know, the Bee Gees pre-disco work is vastly undervalued. It is like they sold their souls to the devil for money during the days of disco and then could never find their voice again.

  8. 52BigGameJames says:

    yeah, but look at the purty outfits they got-never know when that leisure suit will make a comeback.

  9. william says:

    Sadly, I guess there is a UNC grad who can tell us about selling her soul, today….

  10. 52BigGameJames says:

    I’ve no sympathy for Bonds, or McGuire even, but I really liked that Gal–very sad indeed!

  11. william says:

    Speaking of souls, can you tell me what actor appeared in Dracula, the Star Wars movies and the Lord of the Rings trilogy?

  12. Tar Heel Fan says:

    Who played Count Dooku and Saruman? Christopher Lee

  13. william says:

    You nailed it!

    Why couldn’t they come up with a better name than Count Dooku? Too much like Dook. Lee played Dracula more times than any other actor, which is saying something as Dracula is apparently the character upon which the greatest number of movies have been based. My son loves those movies and just persuaded me to buy Scars of Dracula on Amazon. Hopefully, it is good.

  14. Tar Heel Fan says:

    Apparently the name Count Dooku was a tribute to his playing Count Dracula so many times. At least that is according to Wikipedia. Grain of salt and all.

  15. william says:

    No, I got that, but it sounds silly. I think Chocula would have been better or they could have jumped into the Jar Jar Binks racial muck again and called him Count Blacula –for black arts(anybody remember those movies?)

  16. william says:

    Okay, I took the Bee Gees record off and now am spinning Dire Straits, which is what NC State will find itself tomorrow around noon.

  17. william says:

    in dire straits, that is….

  18. Tar Heel Fan says:

    Hmmmm….Chocula cereal

  19. Josh Bowling says:

    William, to love somebody or I started a joke. Enough BeeGees. First, it is not a philisophical discovery to say going undefeated is possible. Possible has an infinate value to it. What needs to be discussed is probability. And I don’t see it, and that is based on past performances that we have had in which we didn’t separate ourselves much from the competition. You are right that a little “fortune” has to come your way and I think we have seen a little bit of that. Consistency may leave a little to be desired. Talk about selling your soul. How about Rod Stewart “Do Ya think I’m sexy” or The Rolling Stones “I Miss You” both sounding like they have some Disco innuendos in them. Better yet, Wet Willie who sang “Keep on Smiling” did a song called “Weekends” which many think that the Village People sang. If you know or remember Wet Willie was given credit on one of Charlie Daniels songs. Charlie Daniels is a renouned southern rocker. I would say Wet Willie gave his soul to the Gods of Disco. Just so you know! πŸ™‚

  20. Josh Bowling says:

    All I know about Dire Straits is Sultans of Swing and Money for Nothing, which are both awesome songs

  21. 52BigGameJames says:

    well, I’ll say with a modicum of smugness that my personal favs (The Who) never took up the rotating reflector ball, when it seemed everyone else was.
    my wife loves disco as that was the stuff in the day when she was at Meredith…Ed’s Gro/Hillsborough Square/Crazy Zack’s/He’s Not Here…..”wasted days & wasted nights”.

    DS’s first goes down as one of the best first albums in history imo

    Count Chocula…lol, new moniker for Al Sharpton?

  22. 52BigGameJames says:

    meant to add-saw Dire Straits at the (now defunct) Pier underground nightclub in Cameron Village, right after they split with Dylan as his back-up band. what a great place that was!

  23. william says:

    Yeah, when I was at UNC, REM, Dire Straits and U2 were the big 3. Love Over Gold and Making Movies were Dire Straits best two albums and that is correct that Knopfler played with Dylan from about 1978 to 1984. The Bee Gees had Massachusetts and New York Mining Disaster, which were about as non-pop lyrics as pop songs ever got. James, I think the Who Are You album was kind of disco, unfortunately.

  24. 52BigGameJames says:

    hmm-can’t go with that as the title song was was about the punk movement which was the antithesis of disco-sister disco & music must change were literally send-off/KMA messages to disco. I’ll check out the BG’s early stuff sometime. “Industrial Disease” is a true classic–will probably be studied in some future music anthropology course…if civilization makes it that far.

  25. william says:

    “Two men say they are Jesus; one of them must be wrong!”

  26. 52BigGameJames says:

    william-bravo! maybe the best song line is history, lol!
    here’s a great interview with Townshend:

    http://www.thewho.net/articles/townshen/gp_89.htm

    –interesting reference (deep into the article) to Knopfler about guitar “strumming”–long article but a good read. Interesting references to Hendrix too.
    One song to hear Mark’s great “strumming” on is off of their first: “Setting me up”….Communique was vastly under-rated imo.

  27. william says:

    Don’t get me wrong–I am a huge Who fan. I think there is a very strong argument that Who’s Next is the greatest rock album of all time and I also think there is a strong argument that the Who were the greatest live band of all time.

    Unfortunately, due to my age, I never got to see the original Who, but I did get to see what was left in the 1990’s when they toured and also when they did a live version of Quadrophenia with Billy Idol and I believe Zak Starkey. They were still pretty decent.

  28. 52BigGameJames says:

    VH1 has a series: Classic rock albums–I just saw the one on Who’s Next–catch it if you get the chance. fwiw-that 90’s tour was in fact pretty darn good compared to some previous tours. I saw them at Carter Stadium around that time, and while there was no substitute for Moon, the horn section really added a lot. Townshend’s 9/11 firefighter’s tribute was pretty good too. Thankfully they’ve accepted aging much more gracefully than has Jagger.

  29. Tar Heel Fan says:

    Well, I guess THF has arrived as a legit community of readers when the comments section takes off in a different direction discussing music. πŸ™‚

  30. 52BigGameJames says:

    that the THF community should attract intelligent, eclectic readers should come as no surprise πŸ™‚

    apologies for the hi-jack!

  31. william says:

    Sometimes I wish we had just a general comments section or forum, so that we could get to know other distinguished alumni better.

    By the way, James. I have read a lot on Who’s Next. It is one of those serendipitous stories where less is more. The Who did not need another rock opera sandwiched in between Tommy and Quadrophenia, more or less. When the Lifehouse project fell apart, they ended up with a tight album, (that actually could have been even better given the stellar outtakes like Pure and Easy), that had nothing but amazing songs.

    The Who are not as good as the Beatles, but I am not sure that the Beatles ever had an album as good as this one from top to bottom. You know that an album is great when the songs that they never play on the radio are just as good as the famous ones: Love Ain’t for Keeping, Song is Over and My Wife are all excellent tunes, especially the accoustic Love Ain’t for Keeping, where the harmonies give the Beatles and the Beach Boys a run for their money.

  32. william says:

    Sometimes I wish we had just a general comments section or forum, so that we could get to know other distinguished alumni better.

    By the way, James. I have read a lot on Who’s Next. It is one of those serendipitous stories where less is more. The Who did not need another rock opera sandwiched in between Tommy and Quadrophenia, more or less. When the Lifehouse project fell apart, they ended up with a tight album, (that actually could have been even better given the stellar outtakes like Pure and Easy), that had nothing but amazing songs.

    The Who are not as good as the Beatles, but I am not sure that the Beatles ever had an album as good as this one from top to bottom. You know that an album is great when the songs that they never play on the radio are just as good as the famous ones: Love Ain’t for Keeping, Getting in Tune, Song is Over and My Wife are all excellent tunes, especially the accoustic Love Ain’t for Keeping, where the harmonies give the Beatles and the Beach Boys a run for their money.

  33. 52BigGameJames says:

    I don’t know if this is the right word, but “organic” comes to mind with Who’s Next. Between Pete’s synthesizer experimentation, acoustic/electric, and fiddle, it almost had a Scots-Irish/English roots feel, imo. Won’t get into subjective debate, as I liked the Beatles solo works better than the collective (for the most part), and I never considered The Who as a good harmony group (Townshend even admits he was a sh***y singer), although they did come thru on that album. Totally agree about Lifehouse, but there was true genius in there somewhere (as evidenced by Goin Mobile), but Pete couldn’t pull it out. Anyway, have truly enjoyed the discussion bro!

  34. william says:

    I named one of my sons after George Harrison, whose All Things Must Pass truly inspired me.

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