The postseason road begins for North Carolina with their matchup with Syracuse in the second round of the ACC Tournament.
It could’ve been a little easier for the Tar Heels in Brooklyn this week. A six-game winning streak had them in prime position to secure a high seed. This would have provided the comfort of a double-bye into the quarterfinal round.
But a big key to gaining peace of mind comes is making sure what needs to be done is done.
In North Carolina’s case, their regular season ended with a loud thud. They lost their final two games of the regular season, a heartbreaker to Miami on Senior Day and a road loss to Duke where they coughed up a 13-point second half lead.
Fortunately, for the Tar Heels, there’s more that comes with securing peace of mind. And that’s letting go of the things you don’t control.
This component is easier said than done. With experience, however, the goal becomes easier to meet. And that’s where North Carolina can thrive on this year’s road to the Final Four. The Tar Heels, seeded sixth in the ACC Tournament, can rely on their experience to help them move forward.
Its experience which can help senior point guard, and team leader, Joel Berry shake off a disappearing act in the regular season finale against Duke. Berry, ranked fifth in the ACC in scoring with 17.8 points per game, was limited to only six points against the Blue Devils on 3-of-11 shooting from the field. This included a surprising 0-for-7 from the three-point line.
The odds of Berry having a repeat-performance in Brooklyn are slim to none. He’s too good and battle-tested. The same can be said of fellow senior Theo Pinson, junior Luke Maye, and the rest of the Tar Heels who follow their lead.
North Carolina is 15-2 in the postseason the past two years. A two-game losing streak to end the season, as deflating as those losses were, won’t rattle them. They know it’s winning time.