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Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated
Andy Nesbitt

North Carolina Looked So Lame For Immediately Declining NIT Invitation

The men’s NCAA tournament field was revealed Sunday night, with 68 teams getting their names called to join the beauty that is March Madness, which kicks off this week and concludes with the Final Four in Houston the first weekend of April.

One storied program that didn’t get its name called was the North Carolina Tar Heels. Hubert Davis’s team, which played in the national championship game just a year ago, was one of the last four teams left out of the tournament

That wasn’t a huge shocker because the Tar Heels didn’t have a great season - they finished the year with a 20-13 record and lost to Virginia, 68-59, in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament. 

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What did come as a surprise happened moments after Sunday’s selection show when Davis and the program released a statement saying they wouldn’t be playing in the NIT.

Here’s the statement: 

That's a bad look for a number of reasons:

1. The timing of it was horrible. It was like they couldn’t wait to yell out like a frustrated child that they weren’t happy and they were going to throw a fit and refuse to go anywhere else if they couldn't go to the one place they really wanted to go. 

2. Using that many words to describe your plans is never good. You never want to be one of those "tl;dr” memes and that’s exactly what that lengthy statement should become. 

3. UNC should accept the invitation to the NIT and have some fun with it - let the players play with each other for a little while longer and use the games to get some lesser-used guys some valuable minutes in games that matter. 

4. Saying your commitment to your fans is what drives you the most and then not playing in games that your fans might enjoy is pretty easy to see right through. Empty words at the end of an empty statement. Not great. 

Seriously, this was really poorly handled by the Tar Heels and they deserve all the shots that are being taken at them in the replies to that tweet. 

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