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Hammered Heels

Roy Williams’ UNC teams have occasionally taken severe losses

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Louisville v North Carolina
Background: CHAPEL HILL, NORTH CAROLINA - JANUARY 12: Head coach Roy Williams of the North Carolina Tar Heels directs his team against the Louisville Cardinals during the second half of their game at the Dean Smith Center on January 12, 2019 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Louisville won 83-62.
Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

When North Carolina lost by 21 points recently to Louisville, it probably surprised the Cardinals as much as anyone else.

The Tar Heels were ranked 12th at the time and never lower than 15th all season. The Cards were regrouping under Chris Mack, their third coach in three years. Moreover, UL was coming off a loss in overtime at Pitt.

Much was made of the result at the Smith Center, the largest home margin of defeat during Roy Williams’ 16-season tenure as head coach at his alma mater.

But Williams’ squads suffered comparably decisive losses as recently as last year, when Texas A&M beat the ’18 Heels 86-65 two games into the NCAA tournament.

The UL outcome was the sixth loss by at least 21 points suffered by UNC under Williams. To this point Carolina has failed to reach the Final Four in any season it was so decisively beaten.

The most lopsided result of all, a 33-point loss at Florida State in 2012, was marked by Williams leaving his walk-ons and deep reserves on the floor to be engulfed by celebrating FSU fans while he and the regulars fled to the safety of the locker room. It wasn’t a good look.

UNC Losses by 21+ Points Under Roy Williams
Margin Result Opponent Date
-33 57-90 @ Florida State 1-14-12
-32 50-82 @ Duke 3-6-10
-24 59-83 @ Indiana 11-27-12
-21 71-92 @ Maryland 2-7-10
-21 65-86 Texas A&M (NCAA) 3-18-18
-21 64-83 Louisville 1-12-19

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