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THF Countdown #17: 1985

Season: 1984-1985
Record: 27-9 overall, 9-5 ACC(1st place tie)
ACC Tournament: Lost to Georgia Tech in the finals.
NCAA Tournament: Lost to Villanova in the Elite Eight

Roster: Brad Daugherty, James Daye, Steve Hale, Curtis Hunter, Warren Martin, Cliff Morris, Buzz Peterson, Dave Popson, Gary Roper, Kenny Smith, Ranzino Smith, Joe Wolf.

Source: UNC Media Guide

To be honest, this season stands out very little to me and simply comes across as what passes as average for UNC basketball. Yeah, how many programs would kill for 27 wins and an Elite Eight appearance to be considered average. The one think I recall the most about this season was losing to freaking Mark Price and Georgia Tech three times. The last, of course, was in the ACC Tournament and Price fell to the court crying over winning the three day affair. This was still a point where the ACCT meant something and was not simply one of the goals along the way. Anyway, it was really annoying and we also had a family dog die the day before so for a 10 year old boy who loved UNC basketball and attached to the family pet like any other young boy that made for an emotionally volatile weekend.

Then again I also had some sort of hernia surgery three days before UNC lost to Villanova in the Elite Eight which might explain why this season carries little weight with me. It is very difficult to focus on basketball with all the animals dying and major internal surgery going on. I do vividly remember the 75-74 win over Maryland at Carmichael. The game appeared to be all but lost until Curtis Hunter, who was the first to received the dreaded "Next Jordan" label, made a steal to help rally the Heels to win.

Outside of that, this season lacks a certain notoriety to it despite having Brad Daughterty, Kenny Smith, Steve Hale, Joe Wolf, Buzz Peterson, Ranzino Smith, Warren Martin and the aforementioned Hunter. A fine group of players but really on the same level as the 1992 and 2004 teams in that there was some growth necessary to see them get to that elite level. So call this one a transition season which would leads to a pair of really good seasons in 1986 and 1987.

Countdown So Far

18. 2006
19. 2001
20. 1992
21. 1996
22. 1999
23. 2000
24. 2004
25. 1990
26. 2003
27. 2002