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Fantasy Friday: UNC Basketball Challenge Tiebreaker

Brandon vs. Jake: One is eliminated. The victor moves on.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-South Regional-Kentucky vs North Carolina
The Tiebreaker
Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Before we move into our final few rounds, there is a matter that must be settled. A battle that will eliminate another squad. Let’s recap the rest of the match-ups first.

The Rest of the Bracket:

The rest of the field went largely as expected. Al continued his hot streak as he sent Tanya to the Elimination Bracket with an 80-42 victory. Tanya was, however, able to garner more votes than Al’s first two challengers, Andrew and Brandon, combined. Interestingly, if you add up all of the votes AGAINST Al, even in his worst round of 80 votes, he would still win. Hot streak is an understatement. Can he keep this up? He will have to wait a few weeks to find out. (Maybe everyone will forget he has Mike?) Tanya will also have to wait for her chance to see if she will have a rematch of her own with Chad or if either one of the teams below will make their way through.

However, we must say goodbye to another team. Akil has been eliminated. Akil’s squad was able to make it through the first round with a 73-43 win over Chris. A 63-48 loss to Tanya sent his squad to the Elimination Bracket for a match-up against Chad where he was defeated by a score of 68-50.

How We Got Here:

The squads of Brandon and Jake have met twice now. Brandon was able to squeak out a 62-46 victory over Jake in the 1st Round. Brandon was eventually sent to the elimination bracket with a 91-25 loss to Al. Jake staved off elimination by beating Andrew 90-18 in his first win-or-go-home game.

This paved the way for the rematch. Neither squad got a good lead and the score settled in at a final of 57-57.

It’s time we settle the score.

Brandon vs. Jake: The Showdown

Below is each team summary, written by the contributor. The line ups and the poll will be below the summaries. The poll will close Wednesday, July 19th at 8:00 pm.

Brandon Anderson’s Team Summary:

For my players that I drafted for the UNC Basketball Draft, I decided to mix a couple of my favorite players with some players that I feel like would create some issues for the players drafted elsewhere to other teams. With a nice blend of three-point shooters, as well as players that loved to dominate the paint, I think my team has what it takes to get it done.

Kenny Smith was a big pick-up in terms of three-point shooting. Funny enough, he was one of the inaugural players for when the three-point line was introduced. Smith had a very good UNC career, averaging 12.9 points and 6 assists per game. He will be able to move the ball around and when needed hit some big-time three-pointers for my team.

Vince Carter was a necessary pick-up for me because outside of Michael Jordan, he was my favorite Tar Heel-turned-NBA star. A lot of his work speaks for itself, as he just played with a lot of fire that I love to see from UNC players. He also was the best dunker…ever in my opinion, so that definitely helped the case in deciding on who to pick. At worst there would be some highlights in each game, right?

Reggie Bullock and Brandan Wright were both very good wing players for UNC. Reggie Bullock knew how to score, as he was extremely solid behind the three-point line during his time in Chapel Hill. He also knows how to get the ball to the right person to make a play, and also knows how to get to the boards which is also a goal I kept in mind in my draft: drafting rebounders.

Brandan Wright only had one year at UNC, but it was a really good year. He shot 62% from the floor, and did anything and everything he could to own the paint. He averaged 1.76 blocks per game, so his defense will be important to my team. With Bullock and Wright at the three and four, I think very good things can happen.

Of course in this draft I needed a dominant big man, and Sam Perkins was just the guy. He finished his UNC career as UNC’s all-time leading rebounder, and so with him, Wright, and Bullock on the floor the boards will be as clean as Roy Williams would like them to be. He is a very decorated big man, and it would take way too long to list off the accolades but I will just say, I would’ve been crazy NOT to pick him up.

For my bench, I had to make sure that I could get a three-point shooter coming off the bench, and so Shammond Williams was a very easy pick. Deon Thompson was a great pick-up because he could give some valuable minutes rebounding without a great deal of drop-off once Wright and Perkins go to the bench. Dexter Strickland I figured would be a nice bench player to tag out Kenny Smith. He’s not much of a three-point shooter, but he knows how to score and create plays regardless which is what this team needs.

J.P. Tokoto was one of my pick-ups as a walk-on player. My theory with this pick-up was: if this is going to be my walk-on player, then this walk-on player has a chance of getting some decent minutes. I loved seeing Tokoto play at UNC, I remember all of the games I went to where I would watch him basically floating in the air before jamming the ball home. He definitely is one of those players that I picked with my heart. Finally, Stilman White just seemed like an obvious pick. Anytime we saw Stilman take the floor, we know we were going to see some good things happen simply because he knew how to take care of the ball. Every now and then he’d surprise us with an awesome shot here or there (cough cough Elite Eight game cough cough).

Jake Lawrence’s Team Summary:

I had three goals. Build a team that spans as many generations of Tar Heels as possible, place a premium on defense and rebounding, and select national championship experience. Mission accomplished.

This roster holds three national titles, four NCAA national title games, 10 total Final Fours, and two National Players of the Year. Every decade from the 1960s to the 2010’s is represented. The original Tar Heel, 1924 National Champion, 3 time All-American and 1926 National Player of the Year Jack Cobb even made the cut. So did 1982 NCAA title game starter, Matt Doherty. UNC basketball is about family right? You have to know where you came from to get where you want to go.

From there, defense and rebounding were the focus. The post has a rotation of Brendan Haywood, John Henson, and Antawn Jamison. 1998 NCAA Player of the Year Jamison is the most recognizable (19.9 and 9.9 for his career), but Haywood is the all-time leader at UNC in blocked shots. He averaged 12.7ppg, 7.1rpg, and 2.6bpg over his final three years. Incredibly he was the very first Tar Heel to ever tally a triple-double. Not to be outdone, Henson averaged 12.7ppg, 10rpg, and 3bpg over his final two seasons. Good luck in the paint against that crew.

The wings are equally as potent. Billy Cunningham, the “Kangaroo Kid”, averaged 24.3 and 15.1 for his career. Four straight years of averaging a double-double without a shot clock or a three-point line will fit in nicely in any era. He helped build the foundation of Dean’s program, and was named to the NBA’s 50th Anniversary team. Bobby Jones, standing at 6’9 was an eight-time NBA All-defensive 1st-team selection, and averaged 13.7 and 8.9 at UNC. He can guard any position on the floor. Walter Davis, known more for his offense, shot over 53% as a shooting guard while averaging 15.7 and 5.7. However, his nickname “Sweet D” paid homage to his silky-smooth style and underrated defensive prowess. He also did this. Clutch.

At point guard, 2005 Bob Cousy award winner and championship team MVP Raymond Felton (12.5ppg, 6.9apg, 2.0spg) has the all-around game to harness all that horsepower. Known more as a PG who can score as opposed to a Marcus Paige-esque scoring point guard, he’d easily surpass his 6.9 assists per game. If he does have to score? His 44% success rate from three will help stretch the D. When he’s tired, Jeff McInnis can pick up the slack with his 14.5ppg, 5.4apg, and 39% career three-point average. In today’s game of multiple ball handlers, why not play both?

With talent that spans six decades, versatility to match any era of the game, and unrivaled defensive and rebounding ability, few teams could pose a challenge to this crew.

Vote for which team will move on! One team will be eliminated. Poll closes on Wednesday, July 19th at 8:00 pm.


Brandon Anderson vs. Jake Lawrence

This poll is closed

  • 40%
    Brandon Anderson
    (28 votes)
  • 59%
    Jake Lawrence
    (41 votes)
69 votes total Vote Now