Kris Jenkins
Villanova’s Kris Jenkins sinking the game winning shot at the Men’s CBB Championship in 2016.

 

The Pain

Anybody that knows me, knows I die for this team. Carolina through in through, don’t mess with my undying love for this school. My dream school, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. About an two and a half hours from my hometown city of Charlotte, North Carolina. Keep in mind that last year’s championship game was in Houston, Texas. Which is where I reside now at the University of Houston. So you know I had to cop that Final 4 ticket!!! It was the easiest c-note I had ever spent!

Carolina breezed past Syracuse in the Regional Final game, they had beaten the ‘Cuse 3 times last year and just were an all-around matchup problem for the Orange. But for some reason, I was never afraid of Villanova in the next game. Barring the fact that I had never seen them play an entire game during the 2016 season, I just knew that it was destiny for us to win. Long story short we didn’t and my little Carolina Blue dreams were crushed.

Recruiting

Besides the pain and heart break, with UNC coming right back into the fold for another championship, it’s more important than ever for them to get this one. Why you ask? Because every Carolina fan knows we haven’t won it all since 2009 and our recruiting woes have never been more evident than they are now.

To provide some clarity, according to ESPN’s Recruiting Class Rankings, UNC finished in the top 10 of recruiting nationally in every year between 2008-2014, with 2014 being it’s last appearance, the signings that included Houston’s own Justin Jackson and Mr. Basketball in the state of Florida (3 times running), Joel Berry. Since then, UNC hasn’t sniffed the top 10. Although championships don’t automatically fix your recruiting success (or failure to do so), it doesn’t hurt either. The corresponding table from 247Sports relates to College Football teams winning championships and their immediate impact on recruiting the following year:

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As you can see, in some cases it works and in some cases it doesn’t. But for Tar Heel fans, all we want to see is where this chip will take us. Will we get back to recruiting the way we used to or will we fall right back into signing modest 4-star caliber players? Either way, we’ve got a great coach to take us to the promise land.

Revenge

Of everything I’ve pointed out, this is probably the one I’m looking forward to the most. How the hell do you hit a buzzer beater in a championship game Kris Jenkins? Most of these championship games do go down to the wire but not ending in the fashion last year’s game went down in. Keep in mind that UNC had to go through a tough south region that included the likes of Kentucky, Butler, UCLA, and Arkansas, to get back to the Final 4.

With UNC set to play Oregon on Saturday night, all the matchups are leaning toward Carolina to win and win big. To move onto Monday night’s final game of the season, Carolina, as a team will have to exhibit toughness and experience at their highest level all season long. I believe they can do it, my sanity counts on it.

Here’s to more wins and less sin…

-Terrence Whaley