While showcasing offensive clinics against Portland and Arkansas in its first two games of the PK80 Invitational, the No. 13 North Carolina men’s basketball team responded by laying an egg in its first true test of the young season, losing 63-45 to No. 3 Michigan State in the championship game of the event on Sunday night.
Here are three takeaways from the historic loss, where the Tar Heels put on the worst shooting performance in UNC history.
Ball movement needs to improve
The most jaw-dropping statistics to arise from the loss to Michigan State would be the horrendous shooting display, with the Tar Heels finishing the game by shooting 24.6 percent from the field and 1-18 from the 3-point line — both record lows for the history of the program.
Although these numbers are noteworthy, these shooting woes didn't come out of the blue. The Tar Heels' poor shooting stemmed from the fact that UNC had poor ball movement throughout the game, which ultimately resulted in poor shot selection.
Many players for UNC resorted to trying to create their own shots off the dribble, which were easily stifled by Michigan State’s suffocating man-to-man defense. This is evident in looking at the team’s assist-to-turnover ratio: the Tar Heels only had nine assists in comparison to 16 turnovers. Whenever a team incurs more turnovers than field goal attempts made (15), that is a recipe for disaster which is just not going to cut it against a top-five opponent.