North Carolina Basketball

My love for UNC basketball started in 1992 when I was in second grade. That winter I joined the YMCA youth basketball league and played for a light blue squad named the Tarheels. The Tarheels averaged about 12 points a game and we were the only team in the league not to lose a game – we tied most of our games (damn those YMCA rules). Needless to say we were a dominant powerhouse. Midway through the season I asked my dad what a Tarheel was, and he only knew that the Tarheel was the mascot for the University of North Carolina. This information meant very little to me until he mentioned that Michael Jordan was a former Tarheel. Even though I was a 7 year old basketball novice, I knew who Michael Jordan was and I immediately became enthralled with UNC basketball.

The 1992-93 college basketball season was the first season that I had ever watched. In the 1993 NCAA tournament UNC was the number 1 seed in the East region and it knocked out East Carolina (85-65), Rhode Island (112–67), Arkansas (80-74), Cincinnati (75-68), Kansas (78-68), and Michigan (77-71) to win the National Championship. Dean Smith and company stunned Michigan’s “Fab Five” (Ray Jackson, Juwan Howard, Jimmy King, Jalen Rose and Chris Webber) in a game highlighted by Webber’s illegal timeout. The Michigan game enhanced Smith’s legendary status and cemented my love for the Tarheels.

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