Why is North Carolina not playing in NIT? Hubert Davis explains decision after NCAA Tournament snub

By | March 12, 2023

From rejectED to rejectING.

North Carolina was not among the 68 teams announced for the 2023 NCAA Tournament on Selection Sunday. It wasn’t long thereafter that the university declared its complete absence from the 2022-23 college basketball postseason all together.

Shortly after the Tar Heels were revealed to be the third team out of March Madness, second-year UNC coach Hubert Davis released a statement saying his team would not compete in the National Invitational Tournament (NIT). The Tar Heels likely would have been among the higher-seeded teams in the NIT with a 20-13 record.

Said Davis:

“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. “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.”

MORE: Biggest March Madness snubs: North Carolina, Michigan headline teams to miss 2023 NCAA Tournament

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.”

With that, North Carolina becomes not only the first preseason AP No. 1 team to miss the NCAA Tournament, but also the first such team to miss the postseason entirely.

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North Carolina finishes its season with a 20-13 record and quarterfinal exit from the 2023 ACC Tournament. The Tar Heels’ 68-59 loss to eventual title game participant Virginia was the team’s final game of the season.

North Carolina had several favorable ratings, including 46th in the NET; 47th in KenPom; 38th in RPI and 49th in strength of schedule. But the Tar Heels’ Achilles heel was a dismal 1-9 record against Quad 1 opponents, which accounted for nine of their 13 losses. The Heels otherwise went a combined 19-4 against Quad 2 and 3 opponents.

For now, Hubert Davis and Co. will take their ball and go home in a season where North Carolina became the first preseason No. 1 team to miss the NCAA tournament since the field expanded in 1985.