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The 3rd Greatest Basketball Program In The South: North Carolina Tar Heels

Posted by Ryne E. Hancock on May 23, 2008

North Carolina Tar Heels

Location: Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Nickname: Tar Heels

Reason For Nickname: North Carolina’s nickname is the “The Tar Heel State”. That should explain everything.

Colors: Carolina Blue and White

Conference: Atlantic Coast Conference

Arena: Dean E. Smith Center (built 1986, capacity 21,750)

Postseason Appearances:

NCAA Appearances: 40 Appearances, 17 Final Fours, four National Championships

NIT Appearances: 5 Appearances, one championship

Conference Championships: ACC Regular Season Champions (1956, 1957, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1971, 1972, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1993, 1995, 2001, 2005, 2007, 2008). ACC Tournament Champions (1957, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1972, 1975, 1977, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1989, 1991, 1994, 1997, 1998, 2007, 2008).

Coaching Legacy: In almost a century of basketball, North Carolina has laid claim to some of the giants in coaching. Beginning with Frank McGuire, who took the Tar Heels to their first national title in 1957 and four regular-season ACC titles and ending with Roy Williams, who has three ACC titles in his first four seasons in Chapel Hill, the Tar Heels have a lot to be proud of in their hoops history. But none of what is today’s North Carolina would be possible without Dean Smith, for whom the Tar Heels’ home court is named for. Smith won two National Championships in his 37 years at the school and until Bob Knight broke his record, had the most wins for a men’s basketball coach.

Big Man On Campus: Michael Jordan, who helped the Tar Heels win their first National Title in 25 years back in 1982, would be considered in high regard as the most famous player in Carolina history. Along with Jordan, North Carolina has been home to players like Larry Brown (yes, that Larry Brown), James Worthy, Sam Perkins, Sean May, Marvin Williams, Eddie Fogler, Jerry Stackhouse, Antwan Jamison, Raymond Felton, and countless others in their history.

Rivalries: North Carolina’s most famous rivalry is with the Duke Blue Devils. Beginning in 1920, the Blue Devils and Tar Heels have fought for the heart and minds of basketball fans in North Carolina. Currently, the Tar Heels lead the series 128-97. The other rivalry that Tar Heel fans take seriously would be the rivalry with North Carolina State, in which they hold a 138-75 lead in the series, including a 67-22 record in Chapel Hill.

Did You Know?: 43 jerseys have been honored by North Carolina, including seven retired ones.


2 Responses to “The 3rd Greatest Basketball Program In The South: North Carolina Tar Heels”

  1. chris said

    this is the most moronic thing in the world…

    3rd best in the south?

    sheesh…Duke is better?



    what’s the overall record? more NCs? etc?

  2. Matt said

    I disagreed, too, when Doc posted #2 as Duke but there is a more dignified way to disagree with someone’s opinion than how you did. I certainly appreciate you taking the time to read and post and we’re more than happy to hear the other side of the opinion — which is why the comment threads are open. But I do think sports discussion (which is what we ultimately want) flows better when people respectfully disagree.

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