Eagle: North Carolina Not Getting Enough Hype

The Tar Heels might be the best team in the country, but no one seems to notice

The DA Show
March 27, 2019 - 11:55 am
Categories: 

North Carolina is one of the best programs in college basketball. The Tar Heels have reached 20 Final Fours, 11 national title games, and won six national championships. They’re also a No. 1 seed in this year’s tournament.

Yet, it feels like they’re flying under the radar. It feels like they’re not getting the attention they deserve.

Fair?

“Yeah, I’m with you on that theory – and I think they’re with you on that theory,” play-by-play announcer Ian Eagle said on The DA Show. “There is a chip on their shoulder despite the fact that they’re a No. 1 seed and they’re a favorite to possibly win the Tournament – or at least go to the Final Four in Minneapolis. Yet, they’re not being hyped up the way that a North Carolina team normally is this time of year, and I think a lot of that has to do with Zion Williamson and Duke and the fact that Virginia is also No. 1. (North Carolina is a) 1 because they’ve earned it.”

The Tar Heels (29-6) have won 21 of their last 24 games, they’ve lost once since Feb. 11 – a one-point loss to Duke in the ACC Semifinals – and they’ve opened the tournament with blowout wins over Iona and Washington.

They play No. 5 Auburn (28-9) on Friday at 7:29 p.m. ET.

“The breakneck pace that (North Carolina plays) with, if you took the other 15 teams in the Sweet 16, there’s only one other squad that I would say could go with them on that pace and feel very comfortable about it in their own right – and that just happens to be their opponent in the Sweet 16,” Eagle said. “Auburn likes to play a similar style.”

Auburn, which won the SEC Tournament Championship, has scored 80+ points in five of its last nine games – and 70+ in two others.

“The one major difference is North Carolina will go end-to-end, attack the rim with Coby White, and then have offensive rebounders Luke May and Garrison Brooks, among others, inside,” Eagle said. “Auburn will go from one end to the three-point line, and in transition take a whole bunch of threes – and make a whole bunch of threes – and you look up on the scoreboard and Auburn’s got 80 points. It’s going to be a really fun, fast-paced, hyper-speed kind of game in Kansas City.”

The winner will face the winner of No. 2 Kentucky (29-6) versus No. 3 Houston (33-3) in the Elite Eight on Sunday.