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The Daily Tar Heel

Enjoy season’s highs, lows

Bleeding Carolina Blue is an interesting phenomenon.

Every game, more than 20,000 “coaches” get tickets to the Dean E. Smith Center, but only four are getting paid to show up.

But when the Tar Heels aren’t clicking on all cylinders, and I mean humming like a well-oiled machine, it’s the former that seem to have all the answers.

It’s too bad the real coaches can’t figure that out.

During halftime of North Carolina’s 78-64 defeat of Virginia Tech on Jan. 10, the men’s bathroom in particular was teeming with inside information.

My visit there made it difficult to discern whether the Tar Heels were down by four or if Roy Williams had just sold all his ties to the devil.

“I don’t understand why you’ve got all those scholarship players on the bench,” one man asked the wall, as if it were Williams.

When it didn’t answer, I suppose he thought I was one of its assistants.

“Do you understand it?” he asked me, reiterating his bewildered regard for the rotations used to that point.

I smiled, shook my head, and high-tailed it out of there without so much as drying my hands.

That guy wasn’t the only one complaining.

Relax, people.

Any coach will tell you that everybody loves a winner. UNC fans are no different.

There’s nothing wrong with that. The program is on the brink of its 2,000th win. I think it’s safe to say that winning is the way that North Carolina basketball intends to go about doing things.

But here’s some breaking news: These guys ain’t parting the Red Sea anytime soon.

And the Tar Heels’ two losses since beating the Hokies — 83-64 at Clemson and 73-71 vs. Georgia Tech — weren’t because they suck.

Yes, Roy does know what he’s doing. And for goodness’ sake, UNC didn’t lose because the referee got his license from Wal-Mart.

The 19-point margin of defeat and the 26 turnovers committed against the Tigers were the worst during Williams’ tenure as head coach. I’m aware of the numbers.

But the bottom line is that winning isn’t easy. If it was, no one would care.

It’s like playing Madden on beginner. At some point, doesn’t winning 84-0 get old?

The lopsided wins, the free biscuits, those are nice. But the most memorable contests are just that — contests. They’re the games that make you rub your eyes, threaten a complete stranger wearing a whistle with bodily harm from Row RR or maybe make you pray to some god you don’t even believe in.

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Just try to look at the big picture. A little excitement won’t hurt you.

Just keep that in mind, especially in the bathroom. You never know who’s in there.

Contact Brandon Staton at