Friday, April 03, 2009

North Carolina's Storied History - 18 Final Fours, 100 NCAA Wins, etc.

To the Villanova Wildcats faithful-

Villanova has a great basketball tradition, but North Carolina's is even better. Here are some enjoyable superlatives to ponder as Saturday night approaches:

North Carolina in the NCAA Tournament
  • Is making its 18th appearance in the Final Four, the most of any school (this year broke the 17-17 tie with UCLA).
  • Has won four national championships.
  • Has made 41 NCAA appearances, won 100 NCAA tournament games, and played in 139 of them, all #2 all-time.
  • Has received 13 #1 seeds, more than any other.
  • Made 27 consecutive appearances in the NCAA tournament from 1973-2001, an NCAA record, that I think is probably the most impressive record of all the many in the media guide. (If it hadn't been for the fact that the basketball gods sent Matt Doherty back to UNC to become head coach earlier in this decade, it might very well have continued to this day.)
  • Under Dean Smith, made 13 consecutive appearances in the Sweet 16, from 1981-1993.
  • Ranks second only to Kentucky, in total wins (1,950 before this season, now approaching 2,000) and winning percentage (73.6%, entering the season).
  • Has been ranked #1 in the AP poll 96 times, in the top 10, 573 times, and ranked, period, 742 times (the last one being a record).
Go Wildcats! Beat North Carolina!

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Anonymous said...

Don't know why I couldn't comment on your preview of the UNC-'Cats game. Seemed to insist I needed an identify. So here's what I wanted to say.

The story is a useful roundup of the buzz around the game.

For a couple of years, I've worried about our lack of height. I had hoped Casiem Drummond or one of the other big guys would stick around or develop. Was sure we needed someone bigger than 6'8" in the middle. Worried that Jay was pushing the big guys out. I wondered if Dante, Shane and Antoine might bounce off Pitt's Blair and wind up in the third row.

I've decided to stop worrying about it. In the Final Four, maybe this will finally catch up to us, but we're one of only four teams still standing. Not bad for a team with no one starting bigger than 6'8".

This team has met every test put in front of it in this tournament. They're getting better as they move along. They've beaten three great programs in the last three games -- and I've decided Jay Wright and these players know a hell of a lot more about what they're doing and what it takes to win than any of us on the sidelines.


Villanova Viewpoint Publisher said...

Hello, Seamus-

Thanks for the comment. My thoughts:

Certainly, the weakness Villanova has - and has had throughout the Wright era, ever since Jason Fraser's injuries - is a meaningful presence inside.

However, I think in some ways it has worked out very well. The four-guard lineup wasn't planned, it was forced by necessity, but obviously the results were fine.

In terms of transfers - I don't think that we ever get the entire story as to why players leave. I recognize that playing time is often a major factor, but I'm not sure that it's the only one...

Certainly, I agree that Wright and the staff and the players are far, far ahead of any of us, in terms of understanding their own strengths and weaknesses and what might be the best approaches...

So let's see what happens...

Go Wildcats! Beat North Carolina!