Art Chansky

I'll Never Forget This Team

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 George Lynch, UNC ‘93 I have always thought that Carolina Basketball teams over the years have had the talent and the confidence to win the national championship. Each team had a great coach who gave his players the opportunity to win. This year, it was just a matter of us going out, executing Coach Smith’s philosophy and having a little bit of luck along the way. When all of these happen, Carolina teams are usually very tough to beat. This year, it just seemed like everything fell into place. I’ll never forget the feeling I had after the championship game in New Orleans. The whole team went to Bourbon Street to celebrate, but it was really hectic down there and we got separated pretty quickly. I went back to the team hotel kind of early, but it was impossible to get to sleep. We had just won the national championship, and Donald Williams and I were supposed to appear on the Good Morning America show the next morning. My body was very tired, but I kept thinking I was going to miss something if I went to...

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Duke, And The War for Wiggins

     Some sobering        thoughts on Car olina’s bad — really bad — loss to Duke Saturday night: The Tar Heels lost the battle but they may have won the War for Wiggins. More on that later. Larry Fedora has a new goal to hit Duke with a two touchdown lead (14 points) next fall before the Blue Devils know what happened. The UNC students didn’t have to sleep in tents for two months to watch that. Carolina got so many bad shots out of its system that the Tar Heels might actually think about trying to score from some kind of half-court offense. It was an utterly composure-less performance. If they need a lesson, they can watch the tape of Mike Krzyzewski and his staff having Carolina’s small lineup scouted so well that they saw the immediate mismatches and called out plays as the Devils crossed half court. Carolina discovered a weakness in the Blue Devils – in case the teams should meet again (like next Saturday in the ACC Tournament). They can’t throw the lob to Mason Plumlee from half-court. The one time they tried the ball went into the stands. Anywhere inside that, it’s a slam dunk. The fans that stayed to the end avoided the traffic that poured out of the Smith Center throughout the second half. And the Tar Heels didn’t have to suffer a...

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Truly, A "Rich Man"

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 Monday was absolutely miserable. Few of us slept well on the eve of the biggest game of our lives, and the minutes crept by. We had a shoot around at the Superdome and a team meeting, but otherwise we tried to kill time by watching ESPN or movies in our room. You’d look  at your watch and it would say “2:25”. You’d look at it after what seemed like an hour and it would say “2:24.” We went downstairs for our pre-game meal. Coach (Bill) Guthridge passed around the gold scissors that a fan had sent. Engraved on them was, “North Carolina, 1993 NCAA Champions.” That was kind of neat. We passed around the scissors, hoping that we’d be using them later that night. When we got on the bus a little while later, a lump welled up in my throat seeing all the parents standing around waving pom-poms and hugging everyone as they passed by. The Montrosses, the Salvadori’s, the Cherry’s, Derrick’s parents and his little brother. Everyone else – there was something about the sight that was very moving. I guess...

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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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