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North Carolina men’s basketball made dubious history on Sunday, when the Tar Heels failed to make the NCAA tournament after being ranked No. 1 in the AP preseason poll becoming the first team to do so since 1985.
The Tar Heels were runner-up to the national champion Kansas Jayhawks in last year’s national championship. The team was in its first season under Hubert Davis as he replaced Roy Williams as head coach, and their run led to the return of Armando Bacot who had an incredible postseason run.
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North Carolina Tar Heels reacts during the first half of the game against the Syracuse Orange at JMA Wireless Dome on Jan. 24, 2023 in Syracuse, New York. (Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)
However, after a 20-13 overall record and failing to make a real impact in the ACC tournament, the Tar Heels were left out of the field of 68. They were among the first four on the outside looking in.
North Carolina was invited to the National Invitational Tournament but turned down the offer.
RUTGERS' SNUB FROM NCAA MEN'S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT HAS FANS BAFFLED: 'SHOCKINGLY BAD DECISION'
North Carolina Tar Heels forward Armando Bacot, #5, looks on during a college basketball game against the Louisville Cardinals on Jan. 14, 2023 at KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Kentucky. (Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
"All season, our focus and goal have been on being the best team we can possibly become and reaching our full potential to give us another opportunity to compete, play for and win an NCAA championship," Davis said in a statement. "Although we no longer have that opportunity and this season wasn't what we had hoped for, I want to thank our players and staff for their hard work and love for Carolina Basketball.
"Many factors go into postseason play, and we believe now is the time to focus on moving ahead, preparing for next season and the opportunity to again compete for ACC and NCAA championships. I also want to thank our great fans for their incredible support. Our commitment to you is what drives us to improve our program in every way."
It is the first time the Tar Heels will miss the tournament since the 2009-10 season. There was no tournament held for the 2019-20 season due to the coronavirus pandemic.
North Carolina Tar Heels head coach Hubert Davis looks down his bench during a men's college basketball game between the North Carolina Tar Heels and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on Feb. 22, 2023 at Purcell Pavilion in South Bend, Indiana. (Jeffrey Brown/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
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North Carolina last won the tournament in 2017.
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