The North Carolina Tar Heels had a good feeling they weren’t going to make the NCAA Tournament after losing to Virginia in the semifinals of the ACC Tournament last Thursday. And with that, they had a decision to make on the NIT.
After the committee made it official and left UNC out of the field of 68, the Tar Heels quickly declined the invite. That’s because head coach Hubert Davis had the players vote ahead of Selection Sunday and it came to a decision from the team.
Or so parents of players on the team say.
In an article from Josh Peters of USA TODAY Sports, he talked to the fathers of junior guard Caleb Love, junior swingman Puff Johnson and sophomore guard D’Marco Dunn.
And here’s what they revealed:
Davis allowed the team to vote, according to Dennis Love, Gilbert Johnson and Greg Dunn.
“I think it should’ve been Coach’s decision, not the kids’ decision,” said Gilbert Johnson. “They should have played in the NIT. Win or lose, they needed that experience.”
The vote was anonymous, said Greg Dunn.
“I thought it would have been best to give the players more time to play more minutes,” Greg Dunn said, adding that his son voted in favor of playing.
Dennis Love said, “The competitor in me says let’s go play, let’s go win. But I can see where maybe Coach looked at it and said, if we play and we lose, then it’s more hurt feelings because we didn’t live up to the expectations.”
This comes a day after sophomore Dontrez Styles revealed that it was Davis’ decision to not play in the NIT. The story feels a little odd overall but the decision does feel right.
In our eyes, it’s a lose-lose situation for North Carolina to play in the NIT after the year they had. If they win it, they still get flack for being there. If they lose, they get even more flack.
It is what it is. This season has been a total nightmare for the Tar Heels, entering this year as the preseason No. 1 and high expectations. Now, there is drama surrounding the program, and head coach Hubert Davis has to find a way to fix it.