Note to all college basketball fans: It's NOVEMBER. The season just began. Try to keep the Final Four judgements in check.
Why do I write this you ask? Because it's only November and I'm currently reading an article about how one writer is backing off his earlier prediction of how good UNC is (I'm talking about Jeff Goodman of Fox Sports--who ranked the Heels at #5 in his poll). I enjoy Goodman's writing--he writes about a lot of different teams and seems to know his stuff. I don't have any argument with his writing, it's more his topic choice that struck a chord...it reminds me how silly all of us who have opinions about sports can often be.
Remember last year at this time? Everyone was singing UNC's praises. They were the team to beat. They alone had the national championships in their sights--everyone else was just a speedbump to run over along the way. Then *gasp* the Tar Heels LOST. Suddenly, no one had any confidence in them any more. They would crumble. We were duped--maybe they weren't REALLY that good. But as the season progressed, things changed and by April 6th, there they were holding up a trophy.
Perhaps UNC isn't as good as they were last year--they lost a LOT of talent and it remains to be seen how some of their relatively unknown players will fare, how the team will gel. But to write them off this early in the year? It seems a little extreme.
There is a long way to go from now until March. There are dozens of games to be played, thousands of headlines to be written, predictions to be made, analysis to share. Maybe UNC WON'T get back to the Final Four. Maybe they will. Who knows? I do know this: wherever they are now, they will get better. They will grow. Roy Williams is too good of a coach and the caliber of athletes at North Carolina is too high to suggest otherwise.
But we have a lot of time to see what happens. Let's just sit back and watch for awhile.