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Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated
Karl Rasmussen

Hubert Davis Addresses UNC’s Tourney Hopes After Duke Loss

North Carolina's NCAA tournament chances suffered a major blow on Saturday after the Tar Heels were beaten by archrival Duke, 62–57. Given UNC’s lackluster résumé, a win over the Blue Devils was considered crucial towards the team’s hopes of qualifying for March Madness.

The Tar Heels are largely deemed to be on the bubble right now—SI’s Kevin Sweeney projected them to be among the first four out in his most recent Bubble Watch—and with the loss against Duke, they'll likely have to win the ACC tournament to earn a bid to the Big Dance. 

Head coach Hubert Davis doesn't seem ready to accept the "win or go home" fate just yet, however. After the loss to Duke, Davis said he's "not adopting" the narrative that the Tar Heels have to win their next four games.

"I'm not adopting the narrative that we have to win four games. So my focus is on Wednesday. I think it's important to focus on what is real and what is ahead of us," said Davis to reporters following the loss in Chapel Hill.

The defeat to the Blue Devils saw North Carolina sink to 19–12 on the season. In conference play, Davis's squad has an 11–9 record, and has struggled to rattle off wins against tougher opponents. None of that bodes well for their chances of impressing the selection committee. 

Despite all that, Davis isn't running with any narratives that UNC is in do-or-die mode. 

Armando Bacot and R.J. Davis led UNC with 17 points each, but Duke center Kyle Filipowski's game-high 22 points was too much to overcome as Carolina lost for the sixth time in its last 10 games. 

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