The game didn’t stand out because it was another opportunity for Meeks to help turn around a season, clinch an ACC title or carry out revenge for a past loss. It did because it would be his last.
“I mean, it’s my last time playing (at the Smith Center),” Meeks said. “I think it’s definitely a little emotional for it to finally be coming to an end.”
So while UNC had already clinched the ACC regular season title outright, and some of the lore surrounding the contest had faded, every moment of every play meant that much more to Meeks.
As UNC enters March Madness, the senior knows he’s playing through the fleeting moments of his college career. But he hasn’t started packing his bags just yet.
While the team recognizes the similarities between this year and last, and the Tar Heels certainly wouldn’t turn down an ACC Tournament title, Meeks and the squad are determined to make one key edit to this year’s story line.
“We all have to remember that we didn’t win it,” Theo Pinson said. “We lost.”
“We got to the national championship game, but we didn’t complete all of our goals. We did everything else. We did regular season, ACC Tournament and we’re in the same driver’s seat as we were last time.”
In order to achieve the one goal they fell short of last season, the Tar Heels will turn to Meeks for his floor leadership and tenacity. The forward leads his team in both offensive and defensive rebounds, a strength UNC will lean on throughout tournament play.
So while Meeks cherishes the few remaining games at UNC, he knows his team’s main goal is getting back to the national championship game. And Meeks knows that it’s on him to help change the final scene of his last season.
Because he won’t have a chance at another sequel.