Things are seemingly continuing to get worse for Roy Williams and the North Carolina Tar Heels. On Saturday, they trailed Pittsburgh by as many as 23 points in the first half and eventually lost 66-52. The loss was UNC's (8-9) fourth consecutive defeat and its ninth in its last 12 contests.
"It's pretty high, no question about that...Having a losing record right now is not something we're familiar with," Williams said of his frustration level after the loss.
The last time UNC had a losing record at any point in a season was 2004-05, when it lost its season opener, and the last time it had a losing record this late in the season was in 2001-02.
That season, the Tar Heels went 8-20 and 4-12 in the ACC. They were ranked only once, No. 19 in the preseason AP poll, and lost six straight games at one point in the year under head coach Matt Doherty. Doherty coached one additional season in Chapel Hill before being replaced in 2003-04 by Williams.
Just last week, Clemson snapped a 59-game road losing streak against UNC, an NCAA-record road losing streak against a single opponent, rallying to win in overtime.
Following the loss, Williams took responsibility for his team's performance saying, "That loss is my fault. No question, no doubt in my mind...Gotta tell Bubba he should probably fire me, it probably wouldn't be a bad idea. The coach is supposed to help his kids. I didn't help them very much.''
After a recent loss to Georgia Tech, the veteran coach issued a blunt assessment of his team, calling them "the least-gifted team I've ever coached in the time that I've been back here."
UNC lost three players from last year's roster who were first-round picks in the 2019 NBA draft. Forward Cameron Johnson led North Carolina with 16.9 points per game before being selected No. 11, while point Coby White went No. 7 to the Bulls and Nassir Little went No. 25 to the Trail Blazers. North Carolina added five-star point guard Cole Anthony in the class of 2019, but Anthony was ruled out indefinitely with a knee injury on Dec. 15.
Williams has only missed the NCAA tournament twice: his first season at Kansas (1988-89) and the 2009-10 season at North Carolina.
The Tar Heels will look to get back to 0.500 on Wednesday night when they travel to Blacksburg and square off against Virginia Tech.