North Carolina coach Roy Williams made it clear after Saturday night's 32-point loss at Duke that his team needed to "change its behavior" if it wanted any chance to win a game - much less four in a row - in the ACC tournament.
But if that behavior, which in Williams' terms includes failing to take care of the basketball, failing to communicate on defense and failing to play as a cohesive unit, hasn't changed in four months, can it really change in four days?
"We have no idea," said Williams, whose 10th-seeded team will play seventh-seeded Georgia Tech on Thursday at Greensboro Coliseum. "But that doesn't mean you stop trying. It's frustrating, there's no question about that. But that's also laying the blame - and the blame's all of us, it's not just the kids. But I am tired. I'm tired of saying the same thing ... over and over and over."
UNC must win the ACC tournament to earn an automatic NCAA bid - something the team insists it can do, even though it's not very likely.
No league team has ever won four games in four days to take the conference crown, and the Tar Heels haven't won more than two in a row since December.
"So what if it hasn't been done before?" Williams insisted Monday. "That doesn't mean it can't be done."
More realistically, though, the Tar Heels are playing for a berth in the 32-team National Invitation Tournament.
Williams, whose teams at Kansas and UNC have won at least one NCAA game for 20 straight seasons, has never coached in the second-tier tournament.
"I'm not saying they've got to grow to 6 [feet] 11 from 6-1, or they've got to start shooting left-handed instead of right-handed," Williams said. "But if I'm screaming at a guy to get back in defensive balance, and I said that Oct. 15, that's long enough - you need to change, you need to do it. If I'm telling you to get to the boards and you're a 3, 4, or 5, and on Oct. 15 we said '3, 4 and 5, go to the board every time' - I don't need to yell that anymore. You need to change.
"As a kid, when you're getting ready to put your finger in a socket, and your mom or dad says 'no' and slaps your hand, at some point you've got to decide to stop putting your finger in the socket. Mom and Daddy don't need to say no anymore, you need to stop doing it yourself."
WEAR SCHEDULED FOR SURGERY: Freshman David Wear, who injured his left hip when he came down on teammate John Henson's foot in practice last month, is scheduled to have surgery today. Williams said it could keep Wear off the basketball court for an additional three months.
Wear, a forward, has been to several specialists since the injury. Doctors say it could be a labrum tear, Williams said, but they won't know for sure until the surgery is done.
DUKE TIE FOR HENSON: Despite his team's embarrassing loss at Cameron Indoor Stadium, forward John Henson will have reason to root for Duke a couple of years from now. For the women's team, that is.
Henson's sister Amber, a junior at Tampa's Sickles High, verbally committed to the Blue Devils on Sunday night, according to The St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times.
Duke beat out Florida, Maryland, Stanford, Texas and UNC for the 6-foot-4 player, who averaged 22.1 points per game and 12.1 rebounds this season.