The defining moments of a century of Carolina basketball — growing pains included — seem to involve the uncanny abilities of those who played and those who directed it o find the win in any circumstance. Here are 10. by Barry Jacobs
NORTH CAROLINA COLLECTION
e’ve had a hundred years of this
now, since the winning season
of 1910. Nothing so rivets
and rallies Carolina alumni and students —
nothing so grabs and holds little kids and
old men with no other connections to the
University — as basketball. A phrase from an
old radio broadcast, a public sighting of
someone from The Program, a rare pair of
tickets to a conference game set spines tin-
gling around here.
The highlights are numerous and familiar,
starting with six national championships, five
since the National Collegiate Athletic Association inaugurated its postseason tournament
in 1939. Tangible measures of success abound,
as attested by the armada of banners anchored
high in the Smith Center rafters: Final Four
berths. NCAA tournament and National
Invitation Tournament appearances. Rankings
in national polls. League championships.
Superior finishes. Hall of famers. National
Players of the Year. All-Americans. Frank
McGuire, Dean Smith and Roy Williams ’ 72.
More wins than all but one school, Kentucky.
Yet the story of Carolina basketball over
its first 99 seasons is told best not by mere
numbers but in stories — events and episodes
that were characteristic, revealing, iconic and
defining, if not always celebrated. We do not
presume to the 10 superlative moments.
Chances are you already know which they
are, right? Here are some that may transport
you to other times — small pieces of a bright