Is it fair to ask what's wrong with a team that just lost on the road in a game in which they were the underdog? Absolutely. Because they never should have put themselves in a position to be the underdog - in other words, they should be better.
For starters, look at the talent. UNC has 9 guys on their roster who were consensus top 100 recruits. Here are the teams which began the season with more:
1. Florida (and two are redshirting)
2. Michigan State (and one hasn't played due to injury)
3. UCLA (two have left school)
That's it. So when you hear fans bemoaning a lack of a back to the basket guy, or an experience point guard, keep in mind that the vast majority of the other 346 Division I programs are jealous of UNCs talent. In fact, most can only fantasize about that sort of talent. Talent isn't the issue.
So what is the issue?
UNC has played five teams ranked in Pomeroy's top 150. In those games they're now 1-4. They're 8-0 against teams ranked worse than 150, and 1-0 against lower division teams.
One problem is that they aren't getting to the line. In the past decade the absolute worst UNC team at getting free throws was ranked 179th nationally. This year's team is 316th. Also, once they get there, they're making the lowest percentage of freebies (64.5%) in Roy Williams' tenure.
Another problem is that their defense is ranked No. 47 nationally, which is the worst in Williams' tenure.
But these statistics are just clouding the debate. Do they need a better presence around the rim? Of course. Do they need to play harder on defense? Yes, and everyone would agree to that. But who cares? This team is exceptionally talented. They should be able to find a way to win.
Besides UNLV, who is their best win? Is it 6-8 Long Beach State, who have two wins versus lower division foes? Is it 8-7 UAB who hasn't beaten anyone and lost to TCU? East Carolina, who lost at home to Campbell? At this point, they aren't even on the right side of the bubble.
What's wrong with Carolina, and how does it get fixed?
In the Miami game, I thought that I saw at least 10 different players on the court at various times, that maybe too many; the eight best and no more, with few exceptions. too many indians and too few chiefs. Miami didn't hesitate to shoot and that's all we could do. Please don't pass me the ball, I may have to take a shot, give it to someone else, that made me sick to my stomach, I have never seen a team so afraid the shoot the ball. One miss and they are done for the night. That's not the Carolina way.
We are still not sure of ourselves on the court. As for an example, the Miami game; they came out of the locker room with that look on their faces, and it wasn't the look that says, we came to win and we will not be denied. They passed up open shots, one after the other, no one had that look in their eyes that said, give me the ball, each one seemed that they came to watch not play, the game and stage were too big for them to handle. The talent is there, the confidence is not. Nobody wanted the ball, they simply ran scared and that is not acceptable. Roy may have a baby before this year is over, because he knows that they could be a great team now, but they must believe it of themselves.
Paige to me is a big problem for the Tarheels. You rarely, if ever, see him attack the basket. He reminds me of Drew in that he just doesn't look comfortable at the guard position. I wish the tarheels would try one guard and use someone else in Paige's place, not another guard, but a forward that can handle the ball reasonably well, but can shot and rebound, it worth a try!! Someone that presents a threat, a big threat.
The guard at the point is one of the main problems, he can't make it happen. Paige is no threat, not team respects his ability to playmake or change the outcome of a game.