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Good News and Sad News from the 1991 Final Four Team

Somewhat lost in UNC's Elite Eight run this postseason was that it was the 20th anniversary of the 1991 Carolina team making the Final Four. After winning the title in 1982, the Tar Heels had been conspicuously absent from the Final Four until 1991 when UNC fell to Kansas and Roy Williams in the national semifinals.

First, the good news: King Rice, the point guard on the '91 Final Four team, has been named the head coach at Monmouth University in New Jersey. Rice has spent the past five seasons as an assistant to Kevin Stallings at Vanderbilt, and has also been an assistant at Oregon, Illinois State, and Providence. Though Monmouth struggled last season, the Hawks have been to the NCAA tournament five times as champions of the Northeast Conference, the same league that produced the strong Long Island University team UNC faced in the 2011 NCAA tournament. Good luck to King Rice as another bloom appears on the Carolina coaching tree.

Now for the sad news: Clifford Rozier, a freshman forward on the '91 team, has fallen on hard times back home in Florida. Rozier only played for the Tar Heels for one season before transferring to Louisville with Dean Smith's blessing. Rozier was part of the original (with apologies to Michigan) Fab Five recruiting class, when Derrick Phelps, Brian Reese, Pat Sullivan, and Eric Montross, along with Rozier, all committed to UNC in 1990. That group, minus Rozier, would go on to win the 1993 NCAA title.

Rozier was successful at Louisville and even played in the NBA for a while, but fell victim to drugs and mental illness. It is a sad and tragic read but well worth your time.