The Tar Heels could be in trouble

Roy Williams is in a tough position to start the year, down two of his top players. Peter G. Aiken/USA TODAY Sports

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- North Carolina is mediocre.

Those are the words I uttered to myself in the waning moments of the Tar Heels' lackluster victory against Holy Cross last week. After the game, I asked UNC junior big man James Michael McAdoo what would happen if he and his teammates look the same way when they face Louisville next Sunday in the Hall of Fame tourney in Connecticut.

“Just hope they play just as bad,” McAdoo said with a smile.

But the Tar Heels shouldn’t even be thinking about Rick Pitino and the defending national champs right now. First, UNC needs to get past Richmond on Saturday at the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut just to get a shot at the Cards.

That’s far from a lock.

This UNC team is a fringe NCAA tournament team as currently constituted. If you didn’t watch Friday night’s contest at the Dean Dome, where they were tested by Holy Cross (picked to finish seventh in the Patriot League), then all you had to do was see the game less than 48 hours later in which Roy Williams’ team got beat at home by Belmont.