Obviously its hard to project right now, but the UCLA game we could very easily be favored since we are at home.
And they will likely be short 3 players…
I doubt the UCLA players will be suspended that long.
That said, I favor us against Texas, and will do so until John Beilein loses to Shaka Smart.
UNC just lost Cameron Johnson for the season. Luke Maye, Theo Pinson and Kenny Williams might be their best players…they’re beatable.
ESPN’s BPI gives us a 75% chance to beat UCLA. Kris Wilkes looked great but they barely beat a Georgia Tech team whose starting backcourt was suspended.
Texas might be pretty good especially with Bamba but as @UMHoopsFan mentioned, JB owns Shaka and I like the matchup.
We won’t win all three but id be very surprised if we lost them all. Beat LSU and go 2-1 in Maui and take 1 of these 3, and I’d feel fine with those results
We could win any of the UCLA, Texas, UNC games. We could also lose any of them. If you give us a 30% chance to win @UNC, 35% @Texas, and 50% home UCLA, the chance we lose all 3 would be 23%. And those were pretty conservative numbers.
So take at least 1 of the non-Maui games, beat LSU and VCU/Marq in the 3rd place game and I’d be feeling just fine about the resume. Any other wins would be gravy.
I hope we win Maui just to see the conversations here change to discussing where everyone is booking their hotel for the Final Four and what we will do if we lose Moe, Matthews and Zavier to the NBA draft!
What we did NC last year was really about the minimum we needed to, though. It might not have been enough if we had not finished unexpectedly strong and racked up more than our share of quality wins in the Big Ten. We also have the ongoing disadvantage that too many of our NC wins are going to be against very low rated teams. For some reason, we keep scheduling all of these 300+ opponents.
Wish I could be that positive, but come on…30% against UNC in Chapel Hill? That’s like saying if we played there 10 times, we’d win 3. That seems wildly optimistic to me based on what I’ve seen so far. I mean, how often does North Carolina lose to unranked NC opponents at home? Not very. As far as Texas, it’s all very well to say that “Beilein owns Shaka”, but that’s one of those things that’s only true until it isn’t. If you’re looking at trends, Beilein’s record in true road games against quality NC opponents is not very strong. I would frankly be delighted to win even one of those games.
Yeah not belabor the point but… Simpson is an elite passer, and he makes it look so easy. Take 13:30 mark of the second half; shot clock situation, Simpson drives to the basket, turns his body a little to give himself an angle, and delivers a crisp, left handed dart to Livers in the corner for a missed Three with :02 on shot clock. That is not an easy pass and he completes it flawlessly and effortlessly. He does this type stuff on the regular. He’s really fun to watch distribute the basketball.
I hesitate to voice this opinion because it’s harshly critical of a former player but I think a large part of Walton’s struggles in his second and third years (and part of his fourth), other than injury, was that he was deferring to a vastly inferior player who for whatever reason dominated the ball to the detriment of everyone - Zack Irvin.
Now part of that was Walton’s fault for allowing it to happen, but on offense, Irvin was an anchor on the team’s, and Walton’s, neck. He dominated the ball, he held it interminably every time he touched it, and he shot too much.
I appreciate his gameness to play up at 4 on D. But our offense didn’t click until he not only took a backseat, but one in the trunk (and even then, it took a staggering cold streak).
Isn’t everything true until it’s not? Sure, coaches records against each other can result from small sample sizes or mismatched talent. But in this case, there’s also an explanation – Shaka’s teams rely on getting TOs, Beilein teams don’t give TOs. Maybe Shaka is playing differently these days, and he is getting more talent, so we’ll see.
Also, JB is something like 11-4 in neutral court NC games over the past 6 seasons, which is pretty good, and I think we have a pretty good shot at 2-1 in Maui, especially as we probably won’t play ND and WichSt. And his true road losses have been against Duke, AZ, UCLA, SC – pretty elite teams. When he’s played NC State or Clemson or Bradley, he’s done pretty well. So if NC is on an elite level or pretty close, I’d agree that chances aren’t that good, especially with us still putting things together. Is Texas that good? I don’t know, but I wouldn’t count on it, and with JB’s history against Shaka, I’d say 35% is quite reasonable. Maybe I was a little overconfident by saying that I favor us in that game, but I do think our chances are pretty decent.
It’s one thing to say “UNC in Chapel Hill” and another to look a true tbis UNC team, which lost three of its four highest usage players, and the holdover (Berry) still hasn’t played after breaking his hand.
The point: I’m sure they have lots of talent, but they may be even more discombobulated than we are.
Based on ESPN BPI Matchup Predictor, UM has a 23.8% chance to win at UNC, a 35.3% chance to win at Texas, and a 75.6% chance to win vs UCLA.
Lots of talent is stretching it. Berry was a top 50 guy and Pinson was a 5 star who hasn’t really shown elite anything, but is solid at a lot. Other than that, Kenny Williams was the exact same as Poole, Garrison Brookes was the same as Teske, and Luke Maye was barely top 200. Manley, Huffman, and Platek were all around 200-250. Seventh Woods was around 50 but solely because of some middle school highlight tape, he’s been awful his entire career. The talent discrepancy is not as high as people think. I think it’ll be a great matchup, especially given UNC’s defensive issues at the 5 against Wagner.
You deliberately dodged the point I made. We’re not playing Texas on a neutral court, and you know that, so how is that stat relevant? Yes, he managed to win against an NC State team with a losing record, that finished 13th in the ACC that year…so what?
As far as Beilein vs Shaka, talent on the floor matters far more than past history. Be honest…from what you’ve seen of this team so far, how capable do they look of pulling off a road upset against a quality team? They struggled against CMU at home, and didn’t even look that great against a weak North Florida team.
I saw that, and based my numbers loosely on that. Those numbers would give us a 12.5% chance of not winning one, obviously bolstered by the favorable UCLA matchup.
That probably is optimistic but this is not the UNC team of the past couple. They don’t have the same size and Luke Maye has been their leading scorer. But if I lower that games percentage than raising the percentage chance we beat UCLA should happen too. The team that just went to OT with Central Arkansas.
Dodged which point? The road NC record? I addressed it directly and even gave it some credence, though I attempted to add context. I also pointed out the neutral court record and that we have reason to be optimistic about Maui. If it’s another point, then maybe I missed it.
Talk at ESPN is of a half to full-year suspension. Won’t be surprised–that is a pretty big deal, a black eye for a university trying to build financial ties in China on a “Goodwill” trip.