BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Specks of silent blue in a roaring sea of white.
As the 17,222 fans in a packed Assembly Hall began to noisily celebrate Indiana’s 77-65 win over North Carolina, the UNC men’s basketball team trudged to the locker room.
After head coach Hubert Davis addressed his team and exited the room, the players began packing up for their bus ride to Indianapolis in silence. The few words exchanged were muffled by the sounds of backpack zippers and bandages unraveling.
What else is there to say at that point?
“The reason why we lost tonight is because Indiana was better than us,” Hubert Davis said. “It had nothing to do with travels or the responsibilities our guys have on the court and in the classroom.”
The first eight games of a season by no means paint the full picture of where a team will be come March. But it’s enough to accurately gauge just how well UNC is living up to expectations so far.
And in their first true road test at one of college basketball’s most historic venues, the Tar Heels, by most measures, fell short.
“Individually, none of us are really playing at the level we can really play at — we’ve just got to figure it out,” senior forward Armando Bacot said. “When you're not getting the results it’s tough. We’re going to grow through it and grow through it as a team.”
Just two minutes into the second half, it seemed that the team’s cohesion had already begun to crumble. After junior guard Caleb Love missed a three, Bacot picked up his third foul on star Indiana forward Trayce Jackson-Davis.