One (or Two) Classic Photos,
One Improbable Moment
The cover photo of the March/April
Carolina Alumni Review featuring Walter
Davis preparing to release the shot captured
a terrific Carmichael memory and the
defining moment in one of the most
improbable sports comebacks of all time.
The March 2, 1974, overtime thriller saw
Carolina make up an 86-78 deficit with
only 17 seconds remaining in regulation to
tie the game and defeat Duke in overtime.
This feat is incredible by any stretch, but
when placed in context, Carolina’s improbable comeback against our archrival stands
In a recent article on Slate.com, noted
baseball statistician Bill James ventured into
the figures of college basketball and defined
his formula for determining the precise
point at which the score and time remaining rendered a college basketball game
unwinnable by the trailing team. James’
near-perfect formula worked for every college basketball game in the history of the
sport, save one: March 2, 1974, Carolina
96, Duke 92 (OT).
Anyway, it was just an excellent piece,
and the cover art was perfect, too. I read it
all in one sitting and, at the conclusion,
only wished there were more! The mark of
a great story...
Scott Fowler ’ 87
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In his excellent Carmichael article in
the March/April Review, David Brown
noted that attendance at the March 2,
1974, Carolina-Duke game “has been estimated at 300,000 counting the wannabes.”
Well, a fellow alumnus, Alan Perry, and I
and our two young sons (both of whom
came to Carolina), were there and are in the
photo on page 36. The other 299,996 will
have to break out their magnifying glasses
to prove their legitimacy.
Max Crohn Jr. ’ 55
the Heels play was one of the most memorable parts of the experience.
I was in attendance for several Duke
games, one where I was squeezed right up
at the top of the rafters, but I didn’t care
because we won. But my fondest memory
was being almost at center court for
Michael Jordans’ famous steal and dunk
against Ralph Sampson and Virginia. How’s
that for higher education?
It says so much about the University, its
students past and present, and its history
that today glorious old Carmichael will not
only be kept around but be revamped for
all future students to enjoy and for proud
alumni like myself to visit and remember. I
come back and visit once a year and will
continue to do so for as long as I can and I
look forward to visiting the new
Carmichael in the future. Go Heels!
Kevin Guyette ’ 82
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Morgan O’Brien ’01
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Your cover story on Carmichael was
absolutely superb. Having been at UNC
for the transition — I was there 1983-87
— it made me feel again exactly what it
was like to be in the old place.
Over the years, with so many more
recent memories of the Dean Dome, I had
forgotten a little. I know the players never
have — they still speak of Carmichael so
fondly. Steve Hale told me recently that his
body would literally shake when it got
really loud in Carmichael.
I went to that Eddie Murphy concert
you wrote about and wish I had seen some
of the others you mentioned, too. I
remember at the Murphy concert the
acoustics were bad and people started
yelling “We can’t hear! We can’t hear!”
Murphy, after some good-natured profanity, literally re-arranged speakers on the
stage himself as people waited, tested it out
and got it working again.
As a graduate of 1982 from Blue
Heaven, it warms my heart and gives me
chill bumps at the same time to see that
Carmichael Auditorium is getting a facelift.
The whole experience of seeing games at
Carmichael was great, from cutting class to
sit in the auditorium for hours to get those
precious tickets (I hope my mother doesn’t
read this, I never cut class, Mom, really) to
being anywhere in that packed place to see
As a former women’s varsity volleyball
player from 1989-1992, I greatly appreciated reading news of what is to become of
Carmichael Auditorium. It holds a
uniquely special place in my heart every
time I think of walking out as an aspiring
freshman onto that hot, sticky floor under
all of those banners of former championship teams to start our first home match
that fall day in 1989 up until my last home
match as a senior in November 1992
knowing that a very special era of my life
was drawing to a close.
In those precious years between, I scored
thousands of personal victories and losses
lobbing and smashing volleyballs in the
dead center of that auditorium, running
sprints up and down the aisles from floor to
rafters, along with first meeting my future
husband under that Carolina Blue dome.
My Carmichael experience was an integral part of shaping who I am today. I am
saddened that it will only exist in our collective memory now, but profoundly happy
that it has touched and enriched so many
student-athletes’ lives like mine.
Thanks for printing that story.
Carolyn Flanders Martens ’ 93