Greatest College Programs - University of North Carolina Tarheels
March 23, 2009 AT 12:00 AM
Greatest NCAA College Basketball Programs of All Time: University of North Carolina Tarheels With four championships and 24 Conference Tournament titles as of 2007, the North Carolina Tar Heels are rarely unnamed in lists of top men’s college basketball programs. UNC is perhaps best known for producing Michael Jordan, however other future stars that have donned the baby blue uniform include James Worthy, Vince Carter and Rick Fox. Despite being awarded Helms National Championship after an undefeated season, the Tar Heels won their first official NCAA title in 1957. However, it was Dean Smith who would solidify North Carolina as a college basketball powerhouse. In his 30 years at the head of University of North Carolina, Smith coached the team to the most wins of any NCAA coach in history, a record that stood until 2007. Smith was at the helm for North Carolina’s second and third NCAA titles. However, it was no easy ride. It took Smith seven Final Four Appearances before winning his first NCAA title in 1982, a game where Michael Jordan hit the game-winning shot against Patrick Ewing’s Georgetown squad. 11 years later Smith reached the promise land once again, this time defeating Michigan in the final, a game famous for Chris Webber’s notorious phantom time-out call which resulted in a technical foul and UNC’s third national title. As of 2007, North Carolina had added one more NCAA title to its all-time count, this time coming in 2005 under head coach Roy Williams. Some of the most impressive college basketball streaks are owned by the North Carolina Tar Heels. After the 2007 NCAA tournament, UNC held onto the record for the most consecutive NCAA tournament appearances at 27, a streak which ended in 2001. The program also can boast the second longest streak of winning seasons at 37, which sits only behind UCLA’s 54. The University of North Carolina is the biggest rival of the Duke Blue Devils. A rivalry that is emphasized by the two universities being located only eight miles apart from each other. Many consider it to be the most intense rivalry in all of sports.