Vote Now in Showdown: Final 4 edition- Best UNC teams without a title.
Last week in the first 2 games, The 1972 team upset the 3 seeded 1968 Carolina squad and the 1984 version defeated the 1995 Tar Heels.
The 1977 Tar Heels bolstered a starting line-up that had 3 players that in the next 2 NBA draft’s would be top 6 NBA draft picks
The backcourt of Walter Davis and Phil Ford were drafted 5th and 2nd overall respectively in consecutive drafts.
Both members of the 1977 Carolina starting backcourt would win an NBA Rookie-of-the-year
Mike O’Koren was another top 6 pick coming off the bench for The Heels.
So What Happened ?
Phil Ford’s Impact
If you are a Carolina fan and don’t really know about Phil Ford, you need to go handle that.
I still hear Dick Vitale in my head “Phil Ford is the best college point guard I ever seen baby”
The 3x Consensus All-American and 1978 Wooden winner was drafted by The Kings 2nd overall.
The year before The Kings drafted Ford, they won 31 games. Ford was the 1979 NBA ROY and was a 2nd team All-NBA in 1980.
He was the only real addition and the Kings went from 31 wins to 47 and 48 the next two seasons.
The year after, Phil’s 3rd year he started getting injured and he was not playing like Phil Ford. The Kings without Phil Ford went back to 30 wins.
That’s who Phil Ford was.
- Phil Ford-JR. 18.7ppg- 6.6ast.
- Walter Davis- SR. 15.5- 5.7- 2.3
- John Kuester- SR. 9.7- 2.2- 4.0
- Mike O’Koren- FR. 13.9ppg- 6.6reb
- Tom LaGarde- SR. 15.1ppg- 7.4reb
UNC Center Tommy Legarde who went on to be the 6th pick in The 1977 NBA Draft was lost for the season when he blew out his knee.
Walter Davis broke his finger before The ACC Championship game and still played but the shooter wasn’t shooting the same.
The Greyhound got a screw put in and missed a NCAA Tourney game.
Phil Ford hyperextended his elbow during March Madness. He played through it but was rendered ineffective.
He could barely lift the ball above his head. With all of these catastrophies happening they still only lost the NCAA Final by single digits.
Imagine any other Tar Heels squad losing their 3 best players. Either sitting out or playing sub-par because they shouldn’t have been out there in the first place.
Do you think they would have made it to the title game?
26-5 (9-3, 1st ACC)
Dean Smith didn’t accept transfer students, until Bob Mcadoo. I consider McAdoo to be the first stretch big.
Picture Dirk Nowitzki with broader shoulders that averaged about 15 boards to go along with his 30 plus points per game in the NBA.
He was only a Tar Heel this one season, garnering first team All-conference and All-american honors.
Dennis Wuycik joined McAdoo on the All-ACC 1st team in 1972. His second straight 1st team selection.
George Karl was selected as a 2nd team All-Conference along with forward Bill Chamberlain.
Sophomore Bobby Jones is one of the best defensive players of all-time. Jones a Hall-of-Famer, was drafted 5th in the 1974 Draft but chose The ABA instead.
As a pro, Jones was a champion, an 11x All-defensive selection, 5x All-Star, and the first NBA 6th man award winner.
The 1972 ACC Champions lost by 4 in the Final 4.
- Bob McAdoo JR. 19.5ppg- 10.1reb
- Dennis Wuycik SR. 18.0-5.7-2.4
- George Karl JR. 11.7ppg- 4.3 ast
- Bill Chamberlain SR. 10.9-5.6-2.7
- Bobby Jones SO. 10.2-6.3-2.4
34-4(13-3, 2nd ACC)
Carolina basketball was led by Antawn Jamison since the day he came to campus in 1996. He was an All-Acc(1st) all three seasons he played in Chapel Hill.
In 1998 Jamison was at his finest, being named a 1st team Consensus All-American and winning pretty much all the NCAA player of the year awards.
The Heels had an unflappable floor general at point guard in Ed Cota, who in 1998 was a 2nd team All-ACC in the backcourt along with the teams 2nd highest scorer in Shammond Williams.
Vince and ’98
In 1997 Vince Carter’s game took a leap, pun intended.
In 1998 he became more polished and the entire team was more experienced coming off a Final Four loss to eventual champion Arizona.
Carter and Jamison had many thinking championship for North Carolina. They were ranked #1 heading into the tournament
On the road to the Final Four, The Heels knocked off both the 1999 and 2000 future champions, in Connecticut and Michigan State.
They got back to the Final Four, the first one without Dean Smith since Frank McGuire in 1957.
The players were recruited by Dean and coached by him atleast 2.5 of the 3 years they were there.
Smith had just been to the Final Four in 1997, where they lost. They would lose in the Final Four in 1998 too.
If Dean Smith was still head coach would that have changed, would they have won the title?
- Antawn Jamison JR. 22.2ppg- 10.5reb
- Shammond Williams SR. 16.8- 3.2- 4.2
- Vince Carter JR. 15.6ppg- 5.1reb
- Ed Cota So. 8.1- 3.6- 7.4
- Ademola Okulaja JR. 8.0ppg- 5.6reb
- Makhtar N’Diaye SR. 5.8ppg- 4.1reb
- Brendan Haywood FR. 2.9ppg- 2.4reb
28-3 (14-0, 1st ACC)
The 1984 Tar Heels were one of the more talented teams in UNC history.
Carolina was the pre-season #1 and remained #1 most of the season. They entered The NCAA Tournament as the top team in the nation.
Carolina was upset in their 2nd game of The 1984 NCAA Tournament by The Indiana Hoosiers.
Prehaps no team from Chapel Hill ever underachieved more than this talented bunch.
Best team with the worst loss
The 1984 team had 3 starters who were also starters on the 1982 National Championship team in Michael Jordan, Sam Perkins and Matt Doherty.
Brad Daugherty would be the 1986 NBA Draft’s 1st overall selection and Kenny Smith was a 3x All-Acc and consensus 1st team All-American in 1987. Later that year he would be drafted 6th overall by Sacramento.
Jordan and Perkins were both 1st team All-Americans in 1984, living up to pre-season predictions and hype.
Michael won pretty much every player of the year award that there was to be won his Junior season of 1983-84.
- Michael Jordan JR. 19.6ppg- 5.3reb
- Sam Perkins SR. 17.6ppg- 9.6reb
- Brad Daugherty SO. 10.5ppg- 5.6reb
- Kenny Smith FR. 9.1ppg- 5.0ast
- Matt Dougherty SR. 9.8- 4.0- 4.0
- Steve Hale SO. 5.2ppg- 3.6ast