North Carolina Basketball: 5 Things That Prove You're a Serious Tar Heels Fan
There are several types of fans who follow North Carolina Tar Heels, but two stick out. One type is happy to be involved, and goes to the games because that's what everyone else is doing. These guys are just in the early stages of being a serious Carolina fan. When the Heels lose, it is not the end of the world; they carry on with their life as normal.
The secondary type of fan? Ever been to a game and see everyone cheering, but there is one guy standing with his arms folded across his chest, occasionally a smile escapes his face, but for most of the night he just intently follows the action?
He hardly takes a break for a bite or a drink. As a matter of fact, he probably got to the game early to use the bathroom, get himself a drink and more importantly check out the lay-up lines to see which shooter is feeling it or which player might be hindered by an injury.
The fan this article is dedicated to is somewhere between the two above.
You Can Reel off North Carolina Stats
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No serious fan can be caught at a barbecue without four or five serious statistics just in case they run into someone who needs a cocky smile wiped off their face with some cold hard facts, especially a Duke fan or, to a lesser extent, a Maryland fan.
You know who the all-time leading scorer is at North Carolina. If not, you can at least make a rough guess.
You also know the name of a certain freshman who hit a big shot to win North Carolina's 1982 championship game.
No serious North Carolina fan is unaware of the simple statistics either. How many championships have you won or how many ACC titles won.
The all-time leading scorer at North Carolina is Tyler Hansbrough with 2,678 points.
North Carolina has won the NCAA championship five times, six if you count 1924.
They have had four national coaches of the year between 1991 and 2006. Can you name them?
Roy Williams, Dean Smith, Matt Doherty and Bill Guthridge.
The Tar Heels are currently the third most winning team in all of the NCAA, behind Kentucky and Kansas. Played in 18 Final Fours and 42 times in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament.
As for the freshman who hit that shot in 1982, if you are reading this and you are serious about the Tar Heels, I would only be insulting you by telling you.
As for the rest of this information, only the most intense fan would know most of these facts.
You Think Think Dean Smith Is a God
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Dean Smith is the greatest coach North Carolina has ever had, walking the sidelines from 1961 to an abrupt retirement in 1997.
When he retired, he was the most winning coach of all time, but at the moment, he is third all time in Division I Men's Basketball with 879 wins. He won two national championships coaching North Carolina and one as a player at Kansas.
This man was at the reigns of the Heels for 36 year,s and he is widely credited with making North Carolina into the powerhouse as the world knows it today.
Dean Smith gave the world Michael Jordan, the most globally recognised figure in all of basketball. Not only is Jordan the world's greatest player, but he would actually love this list because he just happens to be a serious Tar Heel fan as a retired player.
You know that Dean Smith graduated 97 percent of his players, and you are very proud of that.
You Know Your Players
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You not only know the record-breakers and champions, you also know the walk-ons and the lesser-known players who either made a great shot or made a small play that matured into a great play.
Whether it is Wes Miller getting under JJ Redick's skin or Jackie Manual's stellar defense.
You know and love the walk-ons because if they are playing, it means the game is in the bag.
As for the record-breakers and Hall-of-Fame members? Michael Jordan made that big shot in 1982 to win the championship as a freshman. Other notable players on the team are Sam Perkins and James Worthy, the leading scorer with 28 points in that championship game over Patrick Ewing's Georgetown Hoyas.
Then there are the dynamic duos: Rasheed Wallace and Jerry Stackhouse; Antwan Jamison and Vince Carter.
As a Tar Heel fan, you pay at least a cursory interest to NBA teams with past players on their roster because you firmly believe that once a Tar Heel always a Tar Heel.
Hence you are still waiting for Tyler Hansbrough to show the NBA why he is one of their most underrated players. He is just stuck on a bad team. But you know that he will never LeBron James-up! Choose to play with best players as he is fiercely loyal. He stayed in Chapel Hill four years, didn't he?
After all, he is one of two Tar Heels to go 4-0 at Cameron Indoor stadium. Danny Green the other.
By the way, whose jersey do you have? All serious fans pay homage to their favourite players by wearing their jerseys. A friend of mine has Ed Cota's jersey, and it's his good luck charm.
You Want to See Duke vs North Carolina in the NCAA Finals
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You secretly hope that Duke gets to the ACC tournament finals every year so that your team can annihilate them.
If North Carolina should meet Duke in the NIT Finals, heaven forbid, this game would probably give this tournament some credibility. Actually they did meet in the 1971 NIT semifinals, where North Carolina prevailed 73-67 and were the eventual winners of that tournament.
Duke won its first national championship ever, in 1991 and repeated the next year. The following year Smith won his second championship. As a matter of fact, since then it has been a back-and-forth event for both schools. Duke won in 2001, North Carolina followed that, albeit four years later, with another championship in 2005.
North Carolina beat Duke to the next championship by taking the trophy in 2009, then Duke immediately came back in 2010 and won Mike Krzyzewski's fourth championship.
But the ultimate game, and you hope it is at least in your lifetime, is to meet Duke in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament championship game. Surprisingly neither team has met each other, yet, in the tournament period. Mostly because both teams are always seeded high.
The days leading up to such a game would be a sleepless affair. The networks would go crazy about this. Dick Vitale will finally lose his voice.
"I wouldn't wish that on either school," Mike Krzyzewski once said referring to the loser of such a game.
All North Carolina versus UNC games are epic, but the winner of such a game will have bragging rights forever.
If you are a Tar Heel at heart, you want this game to happen.