What’s wrong with Carolina?

Is it fair to ask what's wrong with a team that just lost on the road in a game in which they were the underdog? Absolutely. Because they never should have put themselves in a position to be the underdog – in other words, they should be better.

For starters, look at the talent. UNC has 9 guys on their roster who were consensus top 100 recruits. Here are the teams which began the season with more:

  1. Florida (and two are redshirting)

  2. Michigan State (and one hasn't played due to injury)

  3. UCLA (two have left school)

That's it. So when you hear fans bemoaning a lack of a back to the basket guy, or an experience point guard, keep in mind that the vast majority of the other 346 Division I programs are jealous of UNCs talent. In fact, most can only fantasize about that sort of talent. Talent isn't the issue.

So what is the issue?

UNC has played five teams ranked in Pomeroy's top 150. In those games they're now 1-4. They're 8-0 against teams ranked worse than 150, and 1-0 against lower division teams.

One problem is that they aren't getting to the line. In the past decade the absolute worst UNC team at getting free throws was ranked 179th nationally. This year's team is 316th. Also, once they get there, they're making the lowest percentage of freebies (64.5%) in Roy Williams' tenure.

Another problem is that their defense is ranked No. 47 nationally, which is the worst in Williams' tenure.

But these statistics are just clouding the debate. Do they need a better presence around the rim? Of course. Do they need to play harder on defense? Yes, and everyone would agree to that. But who cares? This team is exceptionally talented. They should be able to find a way to win.

Besides UNLV, who is their best win? Is it 6-8 Long Beach State, who have two wins versus lower division foes? Is it 8-7 UAB who hasn't beaten anyone and lost to TCU? East Carolina, who lost at home to Campbell? At this point, they aren't even on the right side of the bubble.

What's wrong with Carolina, and how does it get fixed?