ACC Basketball North Carolina News The Tar Heels State UNC News University of North Carolina University of North Carolina Basketball University of North Carolina Basketball News

THB Tournament Second Round: #1 1982 vs #4 1994


#1 1982 vs #4 1994

Starters and Bench

1982 Pos 1994
Jimmy Black PG Derrick Phelps
Michael Jordan SG Donald Williams
Matt Doherty SF Brian Reese
James Worthy PF Rasheed Wallace
Sam Perkins C Eric Montross
Chris Brust
F Kevin Salvadori
Jeb Barlow
F Jerry Stackhouse
Jim Braddock G Jeff McInnis

G Dante Calabria

After watching a first round full of games that had only the slightest hint of something interesting we move into the second round which should provide more debate fodder. That is the case here though on paper it still looks like 1982 has an edge in terms of sheer talent. The pitfall for 1982 is depth. 1994 had four decent players on the bench. Heck, Jerry Stackhouse came off the bench for the 1994 team not to mention a second seven footer in Kevin Salvadori and Jeff McInnis who provided a nice change of pace at the point.

Speaking of the point, Jimmy Black vs Derrick Phelps is well worth noting here. These are the only two point guards that won national titles under Dean Smith and both are of the same mold. Phelps and Black were both defensive specialist and offensive facilitators. After all, given the weapons both players had around them, scoring wasn't a necessity.  Phelps probably gets the better of this match-up and either Brian Reese or Stackhouse likely gets the better of Matt Doherty at small forward.

After that, it feels like 1982 owns the other positions though Rasheed Wallace versus James Worthy would be well worth the price of admission.

THB Tournament Second Round: #1 1982 vs #4 1994

  65 votes | Results

ACC Basketball North Carolina News The Tar Heels State UNC News University of North Carolina University of North Carolina Basketball University of North Carolina Basketball News

THB Tournament: Woollen Regional Results


The first round of the THB Tournament wraps up with more chalk in the Woollen Regional. Here are the poll results and simulation results each match-up 20 times thanks to our friends SCACC Hoops' GameSim.

#1 2005 97% #8 2013 3%

GameSim Results

UNC (2005) has won 17 times (85.0%), won by 20+ pts 4 times (20.0%)
UNC (2013) has won 3 times (15.0%), won by 20+ pts 0 times (0.0%)
The average score is UNC (2005): 84.8 - UNC (2013): 72.9, decided by less then 5 pts 3 times (15.0%)
The game has gone into overtime 0 times (0.0%)

2005 was just too good. Only three close games in the 20 simulated contests and it stands to reason those were the three 2013 wins. 2005 won 17 times and clocked 2013 by 20 or more four times as Roy Williams' first national title team rolls into the second round.

#4 2011 68% VS #5 1988 32%

GameSim Results

UNC (2011) has won 6 times (30.0%), won by 20+ pts 1 times (5.0%)
UNC (1988) has won 14 times (70.0%), won by 20+ pts 2 times (10.0%)
The average score is UNC (2011): 71.5 - UNC (1988): 78.4, decided by less then 5 pts 6 times (30.0%)
The game has gone into overtime 1 times (5.0%)

The surprise here is the 1988 team winning 14 times in the simulations. This was a 4-5 game so it could really swing either way but 14 wins by the five seed does seem a bit off, especially 1988 enjoying an almost seven point advantage in average score. The poll vote broke for 2011, perhaps based on recency.

#2 1998 97% vs #7 2000 3%

GameSim Results

UNC (1998) has won 18 times (90.0%), won by 20+ pts 4 times (20.0%)
UNC (2000) has won 2 times (10.0%), won by 20+ pts 0 times (0.0%)
The average score is UNC (1998): 79.0 - UNC (2000): 68.1, decided by less then 5 pts 2 times (10.0%)
The game has gone into overtime 1 times (5.0%)

1998 flexing some serious muscle here in the simulations by crushing the 2000 team with 18 wins out of 20. The polling followed suit with 97% going for the Antawn Jamison led Tar Heels.

#3 1991 89% vs #6 2001 11%

GameSim Results

UNC (1991) has won 11 times (55.0%), won by 20+ pts 2 times (10.0%)
UNC (2001) has won 9 times (45.0%), won by 20+ pts 0 times (0.0%)
The average score is UNC (1991): 79.2 - UNC (2001): 77.0, decided by less then 5 pts 5 times (25.0%)
The game has gone into overtime 0 times (0.0%)

The poll vote called this an easy win for 1991 while the simulation had it a bit closer. 1991 still wins on average score and 11 out of 20 games with a pair of blowouts.

After the first round, here is what thinks looks like. Second round play opens tomorrow where things really get interesting.


ACC Basketball North Carolina News The Tar Heels State UNC News University of North Carolina University of North Carolina Basketball University of North Carolina Basketball News

Fedora Meets the Media at ACC Kickoff

Larry Fedora took his turn talking to the media at ACC Kickoff.

Fedora hit on a variety of issues from the possibility of using two QBs to playing the most productive running back whoever that might be. Those two lines of thought alone support Fedora's outlook of every position being wide open. The Tar Heel coach didn't make much mention of the defense but focused on the offense. Fedora noted that much of UNC's success will hinge on the offensive line play and how quickly a young unit can adapt to the up-tempo offense.

There were a few NCAA questions focused mainly on Fedora's reaction the the NCAA coming back to campus. The NCAA's renewed interest is more of a headache on the recruiting trail for Fedora and his staff more so than concern over additional sanctions.

For a full rundown of Fedora's comments, here are tweets from the assembled media on what the Tar Heel coach had to say.

ACC Basketball North Carolina News The Tar Heels State UNC News University of North Carolina University of North Carolina Basketball University of North Carolina Basketball News

UNC Picked Fourth in ACC Coastal Division

The ACC preseason poll is out and UNC has been picked to finish fourth in the Coastal Division in what looks like a fair amount of vote splitting.

UNC received 27 first place votes, one of six teams to get a nod for the top of the division. The Tar Heels finished one point behind third place Virginia Tech. Miami was the choice to win the division followed by Duke. Georgia Tech, Pitt and Virginia(the only team not to receive a first place vote) rounded out the lineup in the Coastal. Given the significant fracturing of the vote in the Coastal it stands to reason any one of four or five teams could win it.

In the Atlantic Division, FSU was picked to win the division and  the ACC Championship by a wide margin.

Here is the full list via the ACC.

Coastal Division(first place votes in parenthesis)

1. Miami(26) - 614 points
2. Duke(33) - 597
3. Virginia Tech(23) - 571
4. North Carolina(27) - 570
5. Georgia Tech(1) - 322
6. Pitt(2) - 319
7. Virginia - 142

Atlantic Division(first place votes in parenthesis)

1. FSU(109) - 780 points
2. Clemson(3) - 660
3. Louisville - 564
4. Syracuse - 368
5. NC State - 326
6. Boston College - 301
7. Wake Forest - 136

ACC Champion

1. FSU - 104 votes
2. Clemson - 2 votes
3. Virgina Tech - 2 votes

In the vote for ACC player of the year FSU QB Jameis Winston was the overwhelming choice collecting 99 out of 108 votes. Clemson DE Vic Beasley picked up six votes with Miami's Duke Johnson, Duke's Jamison Crowder and Virginia Tech's Brenden Motley all getting a vote apiece.

ACC Basketball North Carolina News The Tar Heels State UNC News University of North Carolina University of North Carolina Basketball University of North Carolina Basketball News

ACC Media Days Sunday Wrap-up

ACC Kickoff got underway on Sunday with player representatives meeting with the assembled media. Representing UNC at the annual event were quarterback Marquise Williams and linebacker Norkeithus Otis. The opening session didn't yield much in the way of bombshells. Most of the questions and answers are fairly vanilla. Williams did express a great deal of excitement over the stable of running backs he will have in the backfield and also Ryan Switzer.

Otis noted that players have been working harder, devoting time to the film room and making an effort to come together as a unit. That could be standard fare for this kind of event but given most(if not all) the Butch Davis recruits have now exited from the secondary, it will be interesting to see if there is a noticeable change in the unit both in technique and attitude.

One question not really discussed was who will start at quarterback at UNC. Williams has tremendous confidence it will be him and believe he has made the necessary improvements to his mechanics to be effective.

Here is the full transcript of Williams and Otis answering questions for the broadcast media(via ASAP Sports)

Q.  You guys have had six consecutive winning seasons but haven't won more than eight games in a year since 1997.  What's going to be the biggest factor this year in determining whether you guys have another good year or a special season?

MARQUISE WILLIAMS:  We're going to come out and compete.  We've been really impressed with this summer.  Coaches are really glad with what we've brought to the table this summer and guys are buying into what Coach Fedora is trying to do.  That's the only thing we need, we need everybody to stay on one train and not 10 guys and one guy is off by himself.  We're going to come together as one unit and compete at the highest state and play Carolina football:  Smart, fast and physical.

Q.  First part of my question is how much did the experience of you playing last year help with you moving in as kind of the man this year, and how much do you like that college football now has a playoff?

MARQUISE WILLIAMS:  Oh, I love it because, I mean, it gave me a lot of confidence.  After winning the Belk Bowl in Charlotte in my hometown it gave me a lot of confidence and a lot of guys on the team confidence.  Coming off a winning record and a winning bowl game, that gives you the next step in taking it to the next season, and we're ready for that, and we're going to do our best and come to compete at the highest task this year and do whatever it takes.
As for me, it helps me out a lot.  I'm playing with a chip on my shoulder.  I feel like I have to go out and earn something that I deserve, and I'm just going to go out and compete at the same time.

Q.  How much do you enjoy the college football now has a playoff and there are four teams left at the end of the year?

MARQUISE WILLIAMS:  I think that's very, very incredible because it gives other teams that never had the opportunity to play to play for a college championship, the opportunity to play for one.  Like I think back to NIU when they played a couple years ago in the Orange Bowl, certain teams get left out, and I think it's very impressive to have the playoff, and it's going to be very exciting to see how it goes this year.

Q.  Running back numbers at North Carolina with the exception of Gio a couple years ago have been pretty anemic.  The running game improved last year when you took over at quarterback.  Why is that and how important is the continued improvement of the running game for North Carolina's success this year?

MARQUISE WILLIAMS:  Those guys knew we had to get it together at the front four to establish what we needed to do, and when those guys told me the trainer is going to keep moving and you have to come on and be ready to go, and I was ready to go, I gave them that extra wheel in the backfield.  Also with our running backs, I just gave them a little extra more because I can also run the ball, too.  With those big guys in front of me, I was just ready to go behind them and I knew that I wasn't going to be touched with those big hosses I have.

Q.  What is it going to be like having Elijah Hood and TJ Logan behind you in the backfield?

MARQUISE WILLIAMS:  It's incredible, man.  We have four good backs, but Elijah Hood, if you haven't heard, this guy squatted 605 as a freshman on Friday.  I've seen offensive linemen doing that, but he's a running back squatting 605?  I've never seen that a day in my life.  But TJ Logan is a guy that can cut the backfield up and do anything he wants.  He has like seven gears.  It's like a Mustang with a neon speed and everything like that.  It's going to be great to see what those guys bring to the table and I'm glad to have a backfield like that because I'm pretty sure we're going to need four footballs in the backfield to try to figure out all those guys.

Q.  What are you most excited about?

MARQUISE WILLIAMS:  I'm excited to get the season started.  I'm excited to get the ball to the playmakers that we have like Ryan Switzer.  That's my little‑‑ I call my jitter bug because he's like a little jitter bug and he's always nagging people and he's all across the field.  Those guys work their tail off just to be impressive this year and try to play Carolina football.  We're ready for the big thing to turn it around and every time you think of Carolina, you think of basketball, you don't think of football, and we're trying to change the program around as Carolina as a basketball and a Carolina football school.

Q.  You talked about the playmakers that you have on this offense.  How do you define the offense moving forward for you and your expectations of yourself and of them?

MARQUISE WILLIAMS:  Well, as a quarterback we talk about it all the time.  You don't have to be too flashy.  You just distribute the football to the playmakers and let them do the rest.  Those guys want to make plays, like Ryan Switzer, Quinshad Davis, TJ Thorpe, Jack Tabb.  Just put the ball in those guys' hands and they're going to do the rest for us and as the quarterback, you don't have to be too flashy, just get them the ball.

Q. Some disappointing moments last year from the defensive side of the football.  Since spring practice, what have you thought about?  What has the team worked on to get ready for opening day?

NORKEITHUS OTIS:  I've seen a major difference.  I've seen the guys working harder, watching film, teaching the younger guys, trying to get better each and every day.

Q.  Talk about the way this defense has evolved, replacing the guys that meant a lot but building on what you've got returning.

NORKEITHUS OTIS:  Those guys meant a lot to us, but as a defense we've got to move on.  We have a lot of guys that's ready to step up, for example, you have Drennon who played D‑ends, you also have Jesse Rogers who also plays end to try to put pressure on the quarterback.  We lost Tim in the middle.  We have some guys Nazair Jones, Greg Webb.  We have a lot of guys that's getting bigger, getting better.

Q.  Who's really challenged you up to this point when you talk about spring ball?  Who do you feel has really pushed you offensively to get better defensively?

NORKEITHUS OTIS:  I would say Jon Heck.  He's one of our tacklers.  He's been getting better each and every day he's been working his craft, trying to be successful.  I'd  also say the offensive line as a whole because in our defense we kind of try to do different stunts, and they've been getting better and working hard.

Q.  What did the bowl win do for you guys in the off‑season as far as morale?

NORKEITHUS OTIS:  It gave us a whole lot more confidence going into spring ball, going into training camp.  You know, training camp is coming up, so we're ready.

Q.  When you think about your freshman year and heading into your senior year, what was the personality of the teams then, and what do you think the personality of your team is today?

NORKEITHUS OTIS:  I think the personality of our team now is everybody depends on each other.  We play together as a unit.  It's not about me or him, it's about us as a football team.

Q.  Vic is an interesting guy.  What's it like playing for him?

NORKEITHUS OTIS:  He's a great guy.  He teaches us the defense well.  He wants everything to be fast.  He wants us to play fast, play smart and play physical.

Q.  Every coach will tell you you've got to take one game at a time, but if you look midway through the season scheduled, you see the Fighting Irish there at South Bend.  Is that date circled in red for you?

NORKEITHUS OTIS:  No, it's not circled in red for us.  Liberty is circled in red for us right now.  We're taking it one game at a time.

Q.  Personal goal for yourself this year?

NORKEITHUS OTIS:  Personal goal is to keep doing what I'm doing, try to be a better leader.  We lost the voice of the defense.  I'll try to step in and I'll try to be the leader this year.  I'll try to be the voice.  I'll try to continue to do what I'm doing, work hard.

Q.  And have fun all at the same time, right?


Larry Fedora will meet with the media at 2:00 PM on Monday. The ACC will also announce the preseason polls and All-ACC teams during the course of the day.

ACC Basketball North Carolina News The Tar Heels State UNC News University of North Carolina University of North Carolina Basketball University of North Carolina Basketball News

Town Hall Talking

The four Triangle-area Division I athletic directors talked pay-for-play, cost of attendance, NCAA restructuring, and special admissions cases among other things at Thursday's 99.9 FM Fan Town Hall. Plus there was a guest appearance by the biggest sports name in the Triangle this year.

The athletic directors of the four Triangle-area Division I schools - Kevin White of Duke, Ingrid Wicker-McCree of NC Central, Debbie Yow of NC State, and Bubba Cunningham of North Carolina - discussed a number of issues facing college athletics at a town hall forum sponsored by 99.9 The Fan on Thursday. You can read a summary of the event here, as well as key quotes from WhiteWicker-McCreeYow, and Cunningham.

Here are some other observations from the event:

  • It was interesting to note each AD's personality. Duke's White comes across as professorial, especially given his frequent references to economic-based terms, calling the current NCAA reform movement a "market correction" and noting prospective student-athletes are "savvy consumers". Wicker-McCree really seemed to have a grasp of the innate differences between her school and the other three represented. It is easy to see why Yow resonates with State fans, saying "Go State" during the microphone check and getting testy with moderator Adam Gold at one point, even calling out the fact that Gold attended Maryland. Cunningham was reserved and measured in his responses, and it seemed clear he has been working closely with the academic side of the house, repeatedly referring to the "academy".
  • Yow was the winner of the eye-rolling gold and silver medals based on her responses to two questions in particular. First, when asked about why schools admit athletes with questionable qualifications for college, she replied "opportunity" and launched into a speech about giving access to students who were not from the middle class. While that's a nice sound bite, everyone knows why questionable athletes are admitted to colleges and it has nothing to do with poverty and social justice. The other eye-rolling moment came in response to a question about why coaches are allowed to move schools freely while athletes have transfer restrictions. Yow replied that coaches are subject to restrictions in the form of buyouts, sometimes going into "five figures". I don't believe a "five-figure" buyout keeps a coach in place; and even if a seven-figure buyout gives a coach pause, it is unlikely the coach is actually the one paying the buyout as the hiring school often foots that bill.
  • Yow did score points, however, in her responses on the idea of pay-for-play. She mentioned that athletes usually receive Federal Pell Grants as part of their financial aid package (which is often turned back to the athlete when their scholarship covers the school costs). If the NCAA were to allow scholarships to include total cost of attendance (meaning expenses beyond what the school charges), then would schools be subsidizing the Pell Grant program? She also pointed out that while a small group of male student-athletes (football and basketball players) provide the revenue that drives all the other sports, Federal legislation like Title IX does not recognize that fact and any effort to pay-for-play would have to overcome that.
  • Yow also noted that student-athletes are very much like other students who have outside jobs and that choices have to be made to fulfill the requirements of playing college sports. White added that Duke had 35 student-athletes majoring in engineering and two who represented their country in the 2012 London Olympics, so college athletics and scholarship are not mutually exclusive.
  • Cunningham pointed out that a school's admissions department ultimately makes the decision on whether or not a prospective athlete gets into school. He added that he had never worked at a school where an athlete was admitted who it wasn't believed had the potential to be successful in college. That caused a bit of eye-rolling among those in attendance as well.
  • The topic of compensating players for use of their likenesses and jersey sales was a hot topic. White pointed out the difficulties of compensating one player (such as through jersey sales) and would a player like a quarterback then share that compensation with his offensive line? Yow and Wicker-McCree, who were both coaches before going into administration, highlighted the inherent troubles in the locker room of compensating some players but not others.
  • White, Yow, and Cunningham were all-in on the idea that college athletes are already compensated through the value of their educational opportunities. White in particular referenced that, at a private school like Duke, the value of the "educational experience" - which he described as the scholarship, tuition, room, board, books, access to academic support, nutrition, and sports medicine/training staff, etc - was upwards of half a million dollars.
  • Wicker-McCree's perspectives were very interesting because clearly NC Central does not share much with Duke, State, and Carolina except geography; however more than 250 Division I institutions have much more in common with Central than with the other three.
  • Perhaps the most surreal moment of the event was when Mary Willingham entered the room. She came in about 5 minutes into the event and left just before it ended so she had no interaction with anyone in the room as there were no questions or comments from the audience.

While it was a very interesting discussion and the 90 minutes passed in a flash, no one ever mentioned the elephant in the room. This was seemingly by design as otherwise the event would have turned into a 90-minute discussion of the troubles at UNC. It was also disappointing that the topics of conversation seemed more pre-selected and while fans were contributing using the designated hashtag, other than a couple of passing references to contributed topics, there was not much fan input, nor were there any questions or contributions taken from those in attendance (probably much to Willingham's chagrin). Still this was an intriguing concept and maybe 99.9 The Fan can refine how it was run and make it a recurring event.

ACC Basketball North Carolina News The Tar Heels State UNC News University of North Carolina University of North Carolina Basketball University of North Carolina Basketball News

THB Tournament First Round: #3 1991 vs #6 2001


#3 1991 vs #6 2001

Starters and Bench

1991 Pos 2001
King Rice
PG Ronald Curry
Hubert Davis
SG Joe Forte
Rick Fox
SF Jason Capel
George Lynch
PF Kris Lang
Pete Chilcutt
C Brendan Haywood
Derrick Phelps
G Brian Morrison
Henrik Rodl
G Max Owens
Brian Reese
F Julius Peppers
Eric Montross

1991 is one of those sentimental favorite teams. 1991 was the first UNC team since the 1982 NCAA Champions to make it to the Final Four. And it could not come at a better time. After UNC won the title in 1982, the Tar Heels ended up in the Elite Eight four times but could not get over the hump. Couple that with the 1984 team falling to Indiana in one of those fluke NCAA Tournament upsets, the frustration level among Tar Heel fans was high. Enter the 1991 team coming on the heels of a down season in 1990. UNC was an experienced team with a trio of seniors buffered by(at the time) the best recruiting class of all time. Toss Hubert Davis and George Lynch into the mix and you had a solid team that handed Duke a 20 point loss in the ACC Championship game.

So that team going against the 2001 which was the complete opposite in many ways. Whereas 1991 was the picture of a team coming together with the right mix of experience and talent versus a team that was plenty talented but fell apart at the seams. The 1991 team ushered in an era of frequent Final Four trips, a second national title for Dean Smith. The 2001 team led to 2002 and we don't talk about 2002.

All of this is to say 1991 probably wins just on cohesion alone and also because Dean Smith versus Matt Doherty isn't any sort of contest.

THB Tournament First Round: #3 1991 vs #6 2001
#3 1991
51 votes
#6 2001
6 votes

57 votes | Poll has closed

ACC Basketball North Carolina News The Tar Heels State UNC News University of North Carolina University of North Carolina Basketball University of North Carolina Basketball News

THB Tournament First Round: #2 1998 vs #7 2000


#2 1998 vs #7 2000

Starters and Bench

1998 Pos 2000
Ed Cota
PG Ed Cota
Shammond Williams
SG Joe Forte
Vince Carter
SF Jason Capel
Ademola Okulaja
PF Kris Lang
Antawn Jamison
C Brendan Haywood
Mahktar Ndyiae
F Julius Peppers
Brendan Haywood
C<-->G Max Owens

In another quirk of the bracket this match-up has both of Bill Guthridge's Final Four teams.  The difference is the 1998 team lost ten fewer games than 2000 did. Neither team has much depth and in the end this is all about 1998's talent. Though if you consider Ed Cota vs Ed Cota a wash and Joe Forte over Shammond Williams this might be closer than first blush. That is until you starting looking at the other three starters and despite Brendan Haywood's shot blocking capabilities, something tells me Antawn Jamison still gets his and Vince Carter is definitely getting his versus Jason Capel.

Then again, if they play this game in San Antonio, 1998 is totally screwed.

THB Tournament First Round: #2 1998 vs #7 2000
#2 1998
66 votes
#7 2000
2 votes

68 votes | Poll has closed

ACC Basketball North Carolina News The Tar Heels State UNC News University of North Carolina University of North Carolina Basketball University of North Carolina Basketball News

It Ain’t Easy Being Bubba

Nearly three years in, Bubba Cunningham's road as UNC's athletic director does not seem to be getting any easier.

The Associated Press' Aaron Beard has a look at the challenges that UNC athletic director Bubba Cunningham has faced, and some he is facing, and it turns out that taking charge in Chapel Hill has been a pretty tough gig.

Cunningham just finished up his second full academic year after being hired in October 2011, and it would seem the UNC athletic program found a sophomore slump. In just the past 12 months, Carolina has dealt with a myriad of off-court and off-field issues, from P.J. Hairston and Leslie McDonald to Mary Willingham and Rashad McCants, plus a return visit from the NCAA over the school's academic misfortunes. And it's not like the Tar Heels had their usual embarrassment of riches of on-field accomplishments to fall back on, as for the first time in 61 years the school did not win a single Atlantic Coast Conference championship, and finished outside the top 10 in the Learfield Directors Cup for the first time in six years.

Cunningham also caused ripples along Skipper Bowles Drive with his comments about the athletic department that appeared in a Forbes piece in February:

"When I first took over [as athletic director] in late 2011, it became immediately evident that the culture of the department had stagnated," recalls Cunningham. "UNC had been incredibly successful for so many years, but the program was floundering. There was no mission, no roadmap on how to maintain that achievement, only the assumption that what worked in the past would somehow continue to work in the future. The Tar Heels were drifting down a directionless road of with no destination in sight," he adds.

Cunningham's words stung some of the old guard who had been associated with Carolina athletics prior to his arrival, and who had seen things as going pretty well, at least until the great unpleasantness. But while they may have bristled at his comments, his analysis of the situation is entirely spot on:

Cunningham has learned over a leadership career that has spanned four decades that recognizing the first signs of organizational crisis is not an easy task. If all you have ever known is success, it’s easy to become ignorant to the telltale marks of impending disaster. When crisis finally strikes, no one panics because they simply don’t understand what’s happening, and then later they panic precisely because they don’t understand what’s happening.

That may be the most succinct and accurate description of UNC's initial response to the great unpleasantness that I have seen yet.

To his credit, Cunningham has faced the problems head on. He and UNC provost Jim Dean have been examining the relationship between athletics and academics, and according to the school's Carolina Commitment website, UNC has implemented more than 70 policy and process changes since the NCAA first came calling almost four years ago.

In the shadow of all this, Cunningham is also looking at significant facility challenges, most notably the aging and increasingly outdated Smith Center, but as Beard notes Fetzer Field also needs attention. Cunningham has a reputation as being a facilities guru in his previous stops at Ball State and Tulsa, as well as an assistant AD at Notre Dame.

Another concern which must be on Cunningham's mind is succession plans for three of UNC's national championship coaches. Roy Williams, Sylvia Hatchell, and Anson Dorrance are all in their 60s, and Hatchell's recent health issues have brought into crisp focus the mortality and human frailty of coaches.

So Cunningham's plate is certainly full. Again, as Beard writes:

"We're wrestling with some of the toughest issues you can wrestle with," Cunningham said in an interview with The Associated Press. "It's taxing on the faculty. It's taxing on the faculty council. It's taxing on the coaches, on the students in the classroom. It is something that as an institution, we have to figure out how we can move forward."

Cunningham, along with Triangle athletic directors Kevin White of Duke, Ingrid Wicker-McCree of NC Central, and Debbie Yow of NC State will be participating in The Fan Town Hall on Thursday from 11:30 am-1:00 pm. Fans can direct questions for these administrators through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Vine by using the hashtag #FanTownHall. You can also listen to the discussion over the air at 99.9 FM or online at, and I will be live tweeting from @DocHeelfire as well.

ACC Basketball North Carolina News The Tar Heels State UNC News University of North Carolina University of North Carolina Basketball University of North Carolina Basketball News

THB Tournament First Round: #4 2011 vs #5 1988


#4 2011 vs #5 1988

Starters and Bench

2011 Pos 1988
Kendall Marshall
PG Jeff Lebo
Dexter Strickland
SG Steve Bucknall
Harrison Barnes
SF Kevin Madden
John Henson
PF J.R. Reid
Tyler Zeller
C Scott Williams
Reggie Bullock
G Ranzino Smith
Justin Watts
G King Rice
Justin Knox
F Rick Fox

Pete Chilcutt

So what we have here are two teams that both finished first in the ACC, both lost to Duke in the ACC Championship game and both bowed out in the Elite Eight. 1988 lost seven games, 2011 lost eight games. And in a very odd quirk both teams finished the season ranked 7th in the media poll and 8th in the coaches poll. The Elite Eight finishes for both teams probably has something to do with that.

In terms of head-to-head match-up, the 2011 team looks the better of it on paper. Harrison Barnes and John Henson, in particular would be an issue for the 1988 team to handle. And the 2011 version of Dexter Strickland, the one what used his quickness in transition, picked his spots to score and was accurate from 12-15 feet adds an interesting dynamic on both ends of the floor.

On the flip side, 1988 had Jeff Lebo's three point shooting and J.R. Reid as a force in the paint. The 1988 team shot 43% from three but relied heavily on interior play. That puts the defensive burden on Henson and Tyler Zeller who are probably enough to shut the 1988 team offensively. 1988 was also a deeper team which could matter if foul trouble creeps in. Larry Drew did show up for the game but left halfway though it.

THB Tournament First Round: #4 2011 vs #5 1988
#4 2011
63 votes
#5 1988
29 votes

92 votes | Poll has closed