Complete coverage of North Carolina Tar Heels Basketball.
A young Michael Jordan wanted Adidas for his shoe deal. Adidas passed.
To this day, the Trail Blazers are haunted by their decision not to draft Michael Jordan with the No. 2 overall pick in the 1984 draft. The team instead went with the prevailing wisdom of the time, that the most important thing a team could have was a star center, and after the Rockets led off with Hakeem (then known as Akeem) Olajuwon, Portland opted for 7-foot-1 Kentucky product Sam Bowie.
Flashback: UNC-Wisconsin in 2005 (video)
North Carolina and Wisconsin will meet in the Sweet Sixteen in Los Angeles this Thursday night. The game will be the second ever meeting of the two schools in the NCAA Tournament — the first of which was in the Elite Eight in 2005. Thanks to the NCAA’s Video Vault, the game (sans commercials) can be watched in its entirety below.
Video: Roy Williams, C.B. McGrath Preview Wisconsin
North Carolina Head Coach Roy Williams and Assistant Coach C.B. McGrath discuss the Tar Heels' NCAA Sweet Sixteen match up with the Wisconsin Badgers.
What Was His Name? Wisconsin Edition
Wisconsin won the national title in 1941, a team I can only assume was also coached by Bo Ryan. The Badgers reached the NCAA Tournament again in 1947, advancing to the regional finals. After that season, Wisconsin would not reach the Big Dance again until 1994. In that span of 47 years, UNC won three national titles, 10 men were elected President, my mother and father were born, and other less important things happened as well.
Art’s Angle: Tar Heels Not The Stars
The Tar Heels are looking happy and healthy and apparently alright with not being the center of attention at the West Regional Sweet Sixteen. While Roy Williams did not need any prompting to praise his third-ranked opponent Thursday night, he heaped hosannas not only on Wisconsin but on the other 14 coaches left in all four regional semifinals. Roy said nothing comes easy at this juncture because the competition is so dad-gum good.
Marcus Paige channeling powers of UConn?
UNC guard Nate Britt, ever the jokester in the ear of Marcus Paige, picked up on the similarities before anyone else. "He was just calling me Kemba Walker, Shabazz [Napier] as a joke," Paige said, laughing at the references to key Connecticut Huskies who stepped up at tournament time. Maybe Britt was inspired by coach Roy Williams, who referenced the 2011 Huskies in a postgame celebration during the Heels’ ACC tournament run.
Preview & Prediction: #4 UNC vs #1 Wisconsin
Ultimately for UNC to win it will require a full 40 minutes of offensive consistency and the Tar Heels managing some stops on the defensive end against a team that is difficult to stop. It would also help if the Badgers decided to struggle a bit shooting the ball as they did against Oregon on Sunday. In the end, Wisconsin will simply be just better than UNC. Prediction: Wisconsin 71, UNC 65
Top 10 ACC Games in NCAA Tourney History
3.) 1982 Championship Game (North Carolina 63, Georgetown 62) The 1982 National Championship game between UNC and Georgetown provided a snippet of what basketball fans would see for years to come: Michael Jordan being clutch. With 16 seconds left, the North Carolina freshman guard swished a 16-foot jumper from the left side to take a 63-62 lead over the Hoyas.
Sweet 16 run means something more for UNC walk-ons
Come game time, they’ll rarely — if ever — find their names on a box score. They won’t show up in the postgame notes, either. Such is the life of the UNC walk-ons. It’s been this way for years, them serving on the scout team. The system isn’t new. But perhaps what is different this season is how much this Sweet 16 run means to the two active walk-ons, juniors Spenser Dalton and Justin Coleman.
Meeks, UNC bracing for Wisconsin
Kennedy Meeks might not play against Wisconsin today (7:47 p.m., TBS). That knee he sprained last weekend during UNC's NCAA Tournament win against Arkansas is bothering him. He practiced Wednesday wearing a knee brace and even participated in drills that involved contact, something he didn't do Tuesday. But the young man's knee still isn't right, not completely. So Meeks' status is iffy.
Tokoto-Paige tandem connects Tar Heels to Badgers
J.P. Tokoto wasn’t contriving a plan to play alongside Marcus Paige at North Carolina, even if it appears that way. Paige might not be at UNC if Tokoto hadn't made a glowing recommendation to coach Roy Williams, who took Tokoto’s advice and started recruiting the point guard. And Paige might be at Wisconsin if the Badgers had offered him a scholarship, but they were waiting on a decision from an in-state star.
West Regional: Key player for North Carolina Tar Heels
Kennedy Meeks, who is dealing with a knee injury, remains questionable for Thursday's NCAA tournament matchup between the North Carolina Tar Heels and the Wisconsin Badgers at the Staples Center. Meeks (11.6 PPG, 7.4 RPG) is important to this team and Thursday's game. But there is no guarantee that he'll be available. "We don't know anything about Kennedy," Roy Williams said on Wednesday during the pregame news conferences.
Wisconsin, UNC match-up a reunion for Midwest friends
Guarding one of your best friends in a pick-up game at the playground is fun. Guarding one of your best friends in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament on national TV, well, that is a whole different level. It was in high school when J.P. Tokoto, from Menomonee Falls, Wisc., and Sam Dekker, from Sheboygan, Wisc., suited up for the AAU program Wisconsin Playground Warriors.
Tale of the Tape: UNC vs Wisconsin
Wisconsin's offensive numbers are incredibly impressive. The Badgers have a highly efficient offense which presently ranks #1 in the country at just a tick under 125. Wisconsin's offensive is so efficient that despite being 346th in tempo, the Badgers manage to score 72.3 ppg. Also of concern for UNC are two numbers that strike at the heart of what UNC needs to do.
When my fellow badgers in the media and I were not asking him questions, Nate Britt had his nose in a notebook. And it wasn't the Tar Heels' playbook, either. I checked. Granted, I didn't understand what was scribbled on those pages. It looked like some complicated math. But it was not Xs and Os on how to beat Wisconsin in the NCAA Tournament.