In case you’re still in disbelief or hoping Saturday’s result was a nightmare, it wasn’t—North Carolina Basketball took a stunning defeat 75-63 to lowly Georgia Tech on Saturday. Freshman Josh Okogie led the Yellow Jackets with 26 points, and was a big reason why his team led for the last 12 minutes of the game. Justin Jackson led the Heels with 16 points on an inefficient 6-of-17 shooting.
This was by far the Heels’ worst performance of the season. The 63 points scored is a season low, as is the 33.3 percent field goal percentage. They shot just 5-of-26 (19.2 percent) from 3-point range while turning the ball over a season-high 20 times. Once Georgia Tech went to a 1-3-1 defense, the Heels had no answer and their offense couldn’t get any rhythm. By watching the game and viewing the stats, many North Carolina fans would agree that their team couldn’t have played much worse.
To put the degree of the loss into context, Georgia Tech was picked to finish at or near the bottom of the ACC. The Raleigh News & Observer picked the Yellow Jackets to finish 14th (out of 15 teams) with a 2-16 record—they got halfway there with their victory over the Tar Heels. Also, Georgia Tech lost to Tennessee by 24 points–a team the Tar Heels beat without star point guard Joel Berry II. Georgia Tech also has losses to Penn State, Ohio, and Georgia, none of whom are currently predicted to make the NCAA tournament by ESPN’s Joe Lunardi.
Hopefully, the Tar Heels’ loss to Georgia Tech was just an aberration. They will need to refocus quickly as ACC play is underway. It won’t get any easier, as they travel to Clemson on Tuesday night to take on the Tigers and host rival NC State on Saturday night.
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