We’re usually enthralled when a college football upset happens, but it seems that upsets in college basketball don’t carry as much weight. But with the recent struggles of the Tar Heels that saw them eliminated int eh Elite Eight of last year’s March Madness tournament, what happened to the Tar Heels on Tuesday night might be something they want to learn from.
The Butler Bulldogs know all about thrilling wins, and they had one of those at the expense of North Carolina in the Maui Inventional. Butler not only beat the Tar Heels to sink them in the Top 25, but they destroyed North Carolina, never trailing after the first half.
A pair of Bulldogs guards finished with 17 points apiece and center Andrew Smith joined the two in the double-digit scoring club. The Tar Heels got a solid game scoring-wise out of guard P.J. Hariston but they were beat up bad in the paint, losing the rebound battle to Butler, finishing -7. The loss is the Tar Heels first of the season and even though the game was played in Maui, it will be counted as a home loss, as North Carolina was the hosting team.
As for Butler, the win over North Carolina wasn’t one that saw them topple the No. 1 team in the country, but they did sucker punch a titan of the game and gave themselves an adrenaline shot in the process. Butler had a disappointing follow up to making the National Championship game two years in a row. But although this win really means little at the moment beyond what it does to the psyche of the team, it could spark a streak that sees Butler make another serious run at a title.
As for the Tar Heels, the loss is sobering, but they need to improve obvious flaws in their game if they plan on trying to climb back up the rankings and fighting for a No. 1 seed come March.