College Sports

Just how bad was UNC’s loss to Texas A&M? Here are stats to contextualize the upset

UNC’s Theo Pinson speaks after loss to Texas A&M in NCAA tournament

North Carolina Tar Heels senior Theo Pinson spoke after Sunday's 86-65 loss to the Texas A&M Aggies in the second round of the NCAA basketball tournament at Spectrum Center on March 18, 2018. It was UNC's first-ever tournament loss in Charotte.
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North Carolina Tar Heels senior Theo Pinson spoke after Sunday's 86-65 loss to the Texas A&M Aggies in the second round of the NCAA basketball tournament at Spectrum Center on March 18, 2018. It was UNC's first-ever tournament loss in Charotte.

To anyone who thought UNC and Virginia would both be eliminated from the NCAA basketball tournament in this first weekend in Charlotte, hopefully you’ve invested in lottery tickets.

A week ago, it would have been unthinkable that neither the Tar Heels nor the Cavaliers advanced to the Sweet 16.

Now, after UNC’s 86-65 loss, it’s reality.

That UNC lost to No. 7 Texas A&M on Sunday was not unfathomable – the Aggies boast a likely NBA lottery pick in Robert Williams and are one of the tallest teams in college basketball.

But to lose by 21 in their own backyard? That much was hard to comprehend.

So just how bad was UNC’s loss? Here’s some statistics from history and the game to provide some context on Sunday’s upset.

UNC fans, you may want to avert your eyes:

▪  Without Luke Maye in the lineup in the first half, UNC allowed Texas A&M to go on a 15-0 run and take an eight-point lead it never relinquished.

North Carolina Tar Heels forward Luke Maye, a Huntersville native, spoke after Sunday's 86-65 loss to the Texas A&M Aggies in the second round of the NCAA basketball tournament at the Spectrum Center. It was UNC's first-ever tournament loss in Cha

▪  UNC finished the game 26-for-78 from the field, which equates to 33.3 percent. The numbers from 3-point range are worse: just 6-for-31, or 19.4 percent.

▪  This was UNC’s sixth loss of 20 or more points in the NCAA tournament all-time.

▪  This was the 20th time this season UNC allowed its opponent to make 10 or more 3s (10 Sunday). Seven of those games ended in losses.

▪  The loss is UNC’s worst of the season. The Tar Heels had 0 blocks (Texas A&M had eight) and trailed by 24 at one point.

▪  Impressive – and clearly overpowering – size with Texas A&M’s entire team hampered UNC. The Aggies started three players 6-foot-9 or taller, compared to none for the Tar Heels. UNC coach Roy Williams didn’t call them one of the biggest teams he’d ever seen for no reason. The Aggies out-rebounded UNC 50-35.

TEXASA&M_UNC_02
Texas A&M center Tyler Davis, right, fights fights for control of a loose ball with UNC Tar Heels forward/guard Theo Pinson, left, during Sunday’s NCAA tournament basketball game at the Spectrum Center. Pinson and Joel Berry, who played their final games as Tar Heels, will graduate with a career 14-3 record in the NCAA tournament, two Final Four appearances and one national championship. Jeff Siner jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

▪  Before Sunday’s game, UNC was 34-1 in NCAA tournament games all-time in the state of North Carolina, and 12-0 in Charlotte. The lone loss came to Penn in Raleigh in 1979.

▪  For whatever reason, there was a surprisingly large Kentucky contingent at Sunday’s final round of games. Several times, UK fans made an appearance on the Jumbotron at the Spectrum Center.

▪  This was UNC’s first loss since 2014 in the second game of the NCAA tournament. That year, the Tar Heels lost to Iowa State, 85-83.

▪  One note that Tar Heel fans will be able to appreciate: A standing ovation for Theo Pinson and Joel Berry as they checked out of their final game. They will graduate with a career 14-3 record in the NCAA tournament, two Final Four appearances and one national championship.

Brendan Marks: 704-358-5889, @brendanrmarks

The North Carolina Tar Heels leave the court in the Spectrum Center after being upset by the Texas A&M Aggies, 86-65, in the second round of the 2018 NCAA basketball tournament on Sunday, March 18, 2018. It was UNC's first-ever tournament loss in

TEXAS A&M 86, NORTH CAROLINA 65

TEXAS A&M (22-12): R.Williams 3-3 2-2 8, Hogg 5-11 1-2 14, Davis 7-9 4-7 18, Gilder 5-11 0-0 12, Starks 7-15 5-8 21, Jasey 0-0 0-0 0, Trocha-Morelos 2-6 2-2 7, Chandler 1-2 0-0 3, Collins 0-1 0-0 0, French 0-0 0-0 0, Flagg 1-2 0-0 3. Totals 31-60 14-21 86.

NORTH CAROLINA (26-11): Maye 6-16 0-0 13, Pinson 2-7 0-0 4, Johnson 3-11 0-0 7, K.Williams 2-8 0-0 5, Berry 7-17 5-5 21, Miller 0-0 0-0 0, Manley 2-4 1-1 5, Rohlman 0-0 0-0 0, Brooks 1-6 1-1 3, Rush 0-2 0-0 0, Huffman 1-1 0-0 2, Ma 0-0 0-0 0, Platek 1-1 0-0 3, Robinson 0-2 0-0 0, Woods 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 26-78 7-7 65.

Halftime—Texas A&M 42-28. 3-Point Goals—Texas A&M 10-24 (Hogg 3-7, Gilder 2-3, Starks 2-6, Chandler 1-1, Flagg 1-2, Trocha-Morelos 1-4, Collins 0-1), North Carolina 6-31 (Berry 2-10, Platek 1-1, Maye 1-4, K.Williams 1-5, Johnson 1-7, Robinson 0-1, Woods 0-1, Pinson 0-2). Fouled Out—None. Rebounds—Texas A&M 47 (R.Williams 13), North Carolina 36 (Maye 11). Assists—Texas A&M 17 (Starks 5), North Carolina 17 (Pinson 11). Total Fouls—Texas A&M 13, North Carolina 20.

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