Art Chansky

The Amazing Eight

It may not rival the famed 8-points-in-17-seconds comeback against Duke in 1974, but Carolina’s 31 points in the last eight minutes of the first half against Florida State Sunday constitutes one of the hottest scoring streaks you will ever see.   The Tar Heels scored the first seven points of the game but then fell into a funk for the next 10 minutes or so. They actually trailed the Seminoles 16-15 with just over 8 minutes left, and after a second TV timeout tongue-lashing from Roy Williams they got hotter than a Jersey City sidewalk in August.   They outscored dear old FSU 31-11 the rest of the way, with James Michael McAdoo hitting four face-ups, three dunks and a free throw while Reggie, P.J. and Marcus all made three-pointers. Carolina looked like the offensive juggernauts that won national championships without having to play much defense because they knew they could go get whatever was needed on the other end.   So the sellout crowd that paid 50 bucks to see 40 minutes of basketball had to settle for the amazing eight. The rest of the game, including a get-me-to-the-parking-lot second half, was a real yawner. During the hot stretch, Williams loved a hustle play the best, when Jackson Simmons dove headlong for a loose ball and called a timeout that his coach was never going to use anyway...

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Smith By The Numbers

                           Dean Smith will be 82 on Thursday, which is February 28 and a neat juxtaposition of numbers wouldn’t you say?    Wait, there is more irony here. Smith won his first NCAA championship as a coach in ’82, which was 31 years ago. And The Dean was born in 1931.   Next season will be the 17th since Smith retired – that is the exact number of ACC regular-season championships he won, which was far more important to him than his 13 ACC Tournament titles. Consistency over time was the mathematician’s favorite formula. He would take three months over three days, easy.   Nevertheless, the 17 + 13 = 30 is the total years it took Smith to win all the aforementioned championships. By the way, he also signed 30 players who went on to be first- (26) or second-round (4) NBA draft choices.   And that does not include Charlie Scott, who is listed as a seventh-round pick by the Boston Celtics (where he eventually won an NBA championship) because Scott signed with the Virginia Squires of the old ABA long before the 1970 NBA draft. (Like he did with Larry Bird, Red Auerbach drafted Scott as a “future” star.)   Of course, Smith retired with 879 career victories, which is roughly the number of lettermen he coached (or claimed or wished they had been) in his storied...

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Smith By The Numbers

Dean Smith will be 82 on Thursday, which is February 28 and a neat juxtaposition of numbers wouldn’t you say? Wait, there is more irony here. Smith won his first NCAA championship as a coach in ’82, which was 31 years ago. And The Dean was born in 1931. Next season will be the 17th since Smith retired – that is the exact number of ACC regular-season championships he won, which was far more important to him than his 13 ACC Tournament titles. Consistency over time was the mathematician’s favorite formula. He would take three months over three days, easy. Nevertheless, the 17 + 13 = 30 is the total years it took Smith to win all the aforementioned championships. By the way, he also signed 30 players who went on to be first- (26) or second-round (4) NBA draft choices. And that does not include Charlie Scott, who is listed as a seventh-round pick by the Boston Celtics (where he eventually won an NBA championship) because Scott signed with the Virginia Squires of the old ABA long before the 1970 NBA draft. (Like he did with Larry Bird, Red Auerbach drafted Scott as a “future” star.) Of course, Smith retired with 879 career victories, which is roughly the number of lettermen he coached (or claimed or wished they had been) in his storied career. Just like 40,000 people still...

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Bourbon Street Agenda

All season long Chapelboro.com’s “Hoop It Up” will be republishing select excerpts from Return To The Top on the 20th Anniversary of Dean Smith’s 2nd NCAA title season in 1993. Check back on Monday of each week for the next RTTT. By Henrik Rodl, UNC ‘93 New Orleans would be different from Indianapolis. I could feel that Sunday on the trip back from the Meadowlands after winning the NCAA East Regional. And I knew it even more on Tuesday when we gathered for practice after taking Monday off. We all went crazy two years before when we beat Temple to earn that trip to the Final Four. It had been nine years since Carolina had been to the Final Four, and the pressure to return had gotten pretty intense. It seemed like getting to Indy was the victory that year. We practice hard but it almost seemed like that whole week was one big victory lap – we were taking a bow for just getting back to the Final Four. Ten of 15 players on this year’s roster were seniors and juniors and had been to Indianapolis, and we approached Final Four practice week with a much more business-like demeanor. Our practices were just like they’d been all year – enough cracking on each other to have fun and keep things loose, but when Coach Smith blew the whistle...

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School of Rock

        “Big-time basketball” made another stop in Chapel Hill Saturday, and though it isn’t always this way the shaking Smith Center gave nothing up to crazy Cameron, maniacal Maryland and the Wild West venues of the Big 12 that Roy Williams occasionally pines for. From the moment you saw far more fetching fingers in the air than tickets for sale in the afternoon mist outside, you knew this was going to be some scene inside. If only the game would live up to the hype between these old foes that seem to have a hoops rivalry again after years of domination by UNC, which came      in with a 9-0 home record against N.C. State in the Williams era and won 13 of the last 14, 19 of the last 21 and 36 of the last 45 games against the  revived   Wolfpack. Far from the half-empty upper decks that drive Williams nuts for lesser games, this resembled Duke’s annual visit in that the seats were filled to the top rows of the biggest on-campus basketball arena in the country. With every tough ticket being had, this crowd was ready to go long before the 4 p.m. tip. And, as well as the atmosphere, the game between more bitter enemies than respectful foes did not disappoint. For more than two hours on a second straight bad-weather Saturday on the Hill,...

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Jersey War Clinches Final Four

All season long Chapelboro.com’s “Hoop It Up” will be republishing select excerpts from Return To The Top on the 20th Anniversary of Dean Smith’s 2nd NCAA title season in 1993. Check back on Monday of each week for the next RTTT. By Scott Cherry, UNC ‘93 The East Regional in the Meadowlands was another four-team tournament, with us Arkansas, Cincinnati and Virginia. No matter what we thought going to Winston-Salem a week earlier, we knew this weekend would be a challenge. Arkansas and Cincinnati were both cat-quick, athletic teams like Florida State, the teams that tended to give us trouble. And should we meet Virginia again, we knew we’d beaten them three times already and a fourth time would be difficult. We checked into the Park Lane Hotel, overlooking Central Park, on Thursday. One of the great things about playing basketball at Carolina is that you travel first class in every respect. The coaches figure, as hard as we work and as much as we bring to the university in terms of recognition and revenue, without being paid anything beyond our scholarships, we at least ought to stay in the finest hotels and eat the best food. The Park Lane is one of the classiest hotels in the city, and it’s a super experience, especially for guys who haven’t been in New York much. We had a team meeting...

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A Hot, Snowy Day On The Hill

            Maybe it has to be freezing outside for the Tar Heels to get hot inside. That was certainly the case on a cold and snowy Saturday, when Carolina played perhaps its best game of the season and, at long last, shot the lights out in the second half of a 93-81 win over Virginia. Great entertainment before an appreciative full house that braved the bad weather to make the high noon tip at the Smith Center. Not quite the journey made by Roy Williams, who flew to Minnesota Friday night to offer a scholarship to  6-5 recruit  Rashad Vaughn  and got back at 2:30 in the morning. A second straight start for P.J. Hairston could not avoid another slow start for the Heels, who fell behind by 10 with some very casual defense before Williams read them the riot act during the first two TV timeouts. But while the clamp-down “D” produced eight points off turnovers and a 5-0 dominance on the offensive board put Carolina ahead, Virginia finished its own torrid first-half with a 35-foot heave to tie the game at the horn. Get this: it was Jontel Evans’ second three-point attempt of the season and it may very well be his last. That’s how hot were the Wahoos. The showcase event had already introduced UNC’s national championship indoor women’s tennis team, and at halftime Tyler Zeller...

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Don't Be Wall Flowers!

     Win or lose tonight in Cameron, Carolina has to give Duke a game. The Tar Heels cannot knuckle under to an early tsunami as they did at Miami Saturday and during certain halves of certain games earlier in the season.   The tradition of the rivalry demands it, regardless of how mismatched the teams might be. Heck, in 1972 – the day Duke Indoor Stadium was renamed for Eddie Cameron – the BAD Blue Devils (7-6 at the time) upset a third-ranked Carolina team that would win the ACC championship and reach the Final Four. They did it by hanging tough against a far more talented opponent until reserve Robbie West came off the bench to hit a 15-foot push shot to win it at the buzzer. West (like Fred Lind, another sub who keyed a triple overtime win against UNC in 1968) has remained part of Duke Basketball lore ever since.   Then came those two games in 1974, both won by the Tar Heels over last-place Duke teams in the ACC. But not before Bobby Jones stole an inbounds pass and laid in the winner at Cameron and a few weeks later Carolina came back from eight points down with 17 seconds left in regulation to force overtime, where the Heels won 96-92 at a delirious Carmichael Auditorium.   Except for Bill Foster’s first three years as...

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Don’t Be Wall Flowers!

Win or lose tonight in Cameron, Carolina has to give Duke a game. The Tar Heels cannot knuckle under to an early tsunami as they did at Miami Saturday and during certain halves of certain games earlier in the season. The tradition of the rivalry demands it, regardless of how mismatched the teams might be. Heck, in 1972 – the day Duke Indoor Stadium was renamed for Eddie Cameron – the BAD Blue Devils (7-6 at the time) upset a third-ranked Carolina team that would win the ACC championship and reach the Final Four. They did it by hanging tough against a far more talented opponent until reserve Robbie West came off the bench to hit a 15-foot push shot to win it at the buzzer. West (like Fred Lind, another sub who keyed a triple overtime win against UNC in 1968) has remained part of Duke Basketball lore ever since. Then came those two games in 1974, both won by the Tar Heels over last-place Duke teams in the ACC. But not before Bobby Jones stole an inbounds pass and laid in the winner at Cameron and a few weeks later Carolina came back from eight points down with 17 seconds left in regulation to force overtime, where the Heels won 96-92 at a delirious Carmichael Auditorium. Except for Bill Foster’s first three years as Duke’s coach and...

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'93 Heels Head For Big Dance

All season long Chapelboro.com’s “Hoop It Up” will be republishing select excerpts from Return To The Top on the 20th Anniversary of Dean Smith’s 2nd NCAA title season in 1993. Check back on Monday of each week for the next RTTT. By Scott Cherry, UNC ‘93 It was almost 7 p.m. when we boarded the bus outside the Charlotte Coliseum after losing to Georgia Tech in the final of the ACC Tournament. Everyone was down about the game. We felt we had the better team – we’d won two earlier games by a 24-point total – but without Derrick Phelps playing, we just weren’t quite in sync. Winning the tournament had been one of our goals for the season and now it was gone. The loss was particularly disappointing personally because, with Derrick out, it was up to the other point guards to overcome his absence. We all played hard and did some good things, but obviously not enough to win. Plus, Georgia Tech played a tremendous game. James Forest was like a house afire (27 points, 10 rebounds) and we couldn’t cool him off. They won 77-75. The loss hammered home the fact that injuries are a part of the game; that maybe Derrick might not get back at all after getting hurt in the semifinals against Virginia. That meant everybody would have to pick up his intensity,...

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