The North Carolina Tar Heels are ending the 2017-18 season at No. 14 in the final AP Top 25, which was released Tuesday, one day after Villanova beat Michigan to win its second national championship in three years.
Of course, North Carolina fans will remember the first Villanova title this decade as the one that got away for the Tar Heels. Forward Kris Jenkins hit the game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer of the 2016 national championship game against North Carolina, who tied the contest just before the end of regulation.
But as every Tar Heels fan knows, Roy Williams’ squad redeemed themselves the following season with a return to the final four and a sixth national championship.
This season, though, North Carolina was largely unable to replicate that success. The Tar Heels lost 11 games, which was their most since 2014-15, and suffered consecutive losses four times. North Carolina did enough to earn a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament but bowed out in a blowout loss during the second round, falling to Texas A&M, 86-65.
In addition to their 26-11 overall record, the Tar Heels ended the ACC schedule 11-7. That earned them a four-way tie for third place in the conference, but North Carolina lost every tiebreaker, which placed them as the sixth seed in the ACC Tournament. The Tar Heels won three games in the tournament, beating Syracuse, Miami and Duke, but fell to Virginia, 71-63, in the ACC championship game.
The Tar Heels will loss point guard Joel Berry II, but with the potential return of two all-ACC type players and the addition of a top-10 recruiting class, North Carolina should be in the ACC and national championship conversations again in 2019.
2018 college basketball Final Top 25 — Final results
- Texas Tech
- Michigan State
- West Virginia
- North Carolina
- Florida State
- Kansas State
- Ohio State
- Texas A&M
- Wichita State