North Carolina entered the season as the No. 1 team in America in the Associated Press preseason poll. After an improbable fall that ended without a spot in the NCAA tournament on Selection Sunday, UNC’s campaign has ended.
The Tar Heels, the first team to start No. 1 and miss the NCAA tournament since it expanded in 1985, announced they will not accept an invite to the NIT.
“All season our focus and goal have been on being the best team we can possibly become and reaching our full potential to give us another opportunity to compete, play for and win an NCAA championship,” coach Hubert Davis said in a statement. “Although we no longer have that opportunity and this season wasn’t what we had hoped for, I want to thank our players and staff for their hard work and love for Carolina Basketball.”
A year ago, North Carolina marched through the NCAA tournament field and held a 12-point lead over Kansas in the national title game, before eventually losing to the Jayhawks. Armando Bacot and the other stars returned from that UNC squad, and now, the Tar Heels are at the center of one of the greatest falls in NCAA history.
A four-game losing streak that started in November was the beginning of the drama for a North Carolina team that made just 30% of its 3-point attempts in league play a year after making 37% of those shots in ACC action.
Davis’ 2023 recruiting class is ranked 24th by ESPN.
“Many factors go into postseason play and we believe now is the time to focus on moving ahead, preparing for next season and the opportunity to again compete for ACC and NCAA championships,” Davis said in the statement. “I also want to thank our great fans for their incredible support. Our commitment to you is what drives us to improve our program in every way.”