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The Greatest UNC Team Bracket: Round 1, Part 2

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Here’s another set of matchups for you to vote on on the road to crowning the best ever Tar Heel team.

NCAA Basketball: Bucknell at North Carolina Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Our second region of the Greatest UNC team ever bracket is named after the coach of the 1924 team that went undefeated and was named Helms Athletic Foundation. You may not know his name as well because that was his only season in charge in Chapel Hill. He has the highest winning percentage in program history as he went undefeated and never coached the team again.

However for purposes of this competition, he gets a bracket named after him, and that bracket is up next. Here are the next eight matchups in our Greatest UNC Teams of All Time Bracket.

Norman Shepard Region

#1. 1992-93 vs. #16. 1965-66

1992-93

Record: 34-4 (14-2 ACC)

NCAA Tournament Finish: National Champions

Best Win: 4/5/93 - 77-71 vs. #3 Michigan

AP Poll Peak Ranking: #1

Dean Smith won his second national championship after the infamous Chris Webber timeout technical in the championship game. That overshadows UNC on a national perspective, but this team was really, really good. The Tar Heels boasted a balanced lineup that lost just four games, all to teams they beat at another point of the season.

1965-66

Record: 16-11 (8-6 ACC)

NCAA Tournament Finish: None

Best Win: 1/12/66 - 83-75 vs. NC State

AP Poll Peak Ranking: Never Ranked

This would be the last season in which a Smith coached Carolina team didn’t make at least the NIT. Bob Lewis averaged 27 points, while Larry Miller had a breakout year ahead of becoming a two-time All-American in the two seasons after this one.

Poll

Who was better?

This poll is closed

  • 99%
    #1. 1992-93
    (438 votes)
  • 0%
    #16. 1965-66
    (4 votes)
442 votes total Vote Now

#8. 1983-84 vs. #9. 1989-90

1983-84

Record: 28-3 (14-0 ACC)

NCAA Tournament Finish: Sweet 16

Best Win: 1/12/84 - 74-64 at #5 Maryland

AP Poll Ranking Peak: #1

Please no one tell D*n D*kich about this bracket. The 1983-84 Heels spent all but one week ranked at #1 led by Michael Jordan. They looked destined to win a second title in three years, but an injury to freshman point guard Kenny Smith eventually led to a way too early NCAAT loss.

1989-90

Record: 21-13 (8-6 ACC)

NCAA Tournament Finish: Sweet 16

Best Win: 3/17/90 - 79-77 vs. #1 Oklahoma

AP Poll Ranking Peak: #7

On one hand is a Sweet 16 appearance that ended in disappointment. One the other is one that came out of nowhere. The Tar Heels went into the season as a top ten team, but had a mediocre season, losing five of their last nine to end the regular season. They got a #8 seed and won in the first round to set up a game against the #1 team in the country. A Rick Fox buzzer beater later and the Tar Heels advanced to another Sweet 16. They lost there, but made a memorable moment along the way.

Poll

Who was better?

This poll is closed

  • 94%
    #8. 1983-84
    (405 votes)
  • 5%
    #1989-90
    (23 votes)
428 votes total Vote Now

#5. 1999-00 vs. #12. 2013-14

1999-00

Record: 22-14 (9-7 ACC)

NCAA Tournament Finish: Final Four

Best Win: 3/19/00 - 60-53 vs. #3 Stanford

AP Poll Peak Ranking: #2

Arguably the most unexpected Final Four run came from Bill Guthridge’s 1999-00 team. They went in as an #8 seed and upset #1 Stanford in the second round. That opened a path for the Heels, who took it and ran and went to Indianapolis for the season’s final weekend.

2013-14

Record: 24-10 (13-5 ACC)

NCAA Tournament Finish: Second Round

Best Win: 2/20/14 - 74-66 vs. #5 Duke

AP Poll Peak Ranking: #12

This was the season that vaulted Marcus Paige into one of the more beloved Tar Heels in recent memory. The sophomore averaged 17 points per game, including his famous 35 point outing in Raleigh against NC State. The team wasn’t quite good enough to get to the second weekend, but Paige provided several good memories.

Poll

Who was better?

This poll is closed

  • 62%
    #5. 1999-00
    (263 votes)
  • 37%
    #12. 2013-14
    (157 votes)
420 votes total Vote Now

#4. 1997-98 vs. #13. 1973-74

1997-98

Record: 34-4 (13-3 ACC)

NCAA Tournament Finish: Final Four

Best Win: 3/8/98 - 83-68 vs. #1 Duke

AP Poll Peak Ranking: #1

Antawn Jamison’s number is in the rafters thanks to his performance in this season. He won national player of the year after putting 22.2 points and 10.5 rebounds in Guthridge’s first season as head coach. They went into the NCAA Tournament as one of the favorite but famously lost after going cold against Utah.

1973-74

Record: 22-6 (9-3 ACC)

NCAA Tournament Finish: None, NIT First Round

Best Win: 1/26/74 - 82-73 vs. #5 Maryland

AP Poll Peak Ranking: #4

This was the final year before the NCAA Tournament at large bids, which is how a 20+ win team that spent most of the season ranked in the top 10 ended up losing in the first round of the NIT. Bobby Jones had an All-ACC season for the Heels, but thanks to a loss to Maryland in the ACC Tournament, the Tar Heels didn’t get the chance for an NCAAT run.

Poll

Who was better?

This poll is closed

  • 94%
    #4. 1997-98
    (390 votes)
  • 5%
    #13. 1973-74
    (21 votes)
411 votes total Vote Now

#6. 1986-87 vs. #11. 1979-80

1986-87

Record: 32-4 (14-0 ACC)

NCAA Tournament Finish: Elite Eight

Best Win: 12/29/86 - 94-81 vs. #2 Purdue

AP Poll Peak Ranking: #1

Led by senior Kenny Smith, the Tar Heels were the preseason #1 and spent all season in the top five, and were perfect in the ACC in the regular season. In the NCAAT, they ran into Syracuse and got outrebounded by Derrick Coleman and Rony Seikaly in an Elite Eight loss.

1979-80

Records: 21-8 (9-5 ACC)

NCAA Tournament Finish: Second Round

Best Win: 1/12/80 - 82-67 at #1 Duke

AP Poll Peak Ranking: #6

All-ACC performers Mike O’Koren and Al Wood led the way for a team that didn’t quite reach the heights they would in the two seasons after this. The Heels were upset by Texas A&M in the second round of the NCAAT after receiving a bye in the first round.

Poll

Who was better?

This poll is closed

  • 94%
    #6. 1986-87
    (381 votes)
  • 5%
    #11. 1979-80
    (24 votes)
405 votes total Vote Now

#3. 2007-08 vs. #14. 1972-73

2007-08

Record: 36-3 (14-2 ACC)

NCAA Tournament Finish: Final Four

Best Win: 3/8/08 - 76-68 at #6 Duke

AP Poll Peak Ranking: #1

Things worked out for this group of players, but oh man was this year heart-breaking. After going through all comers in what was one of the best regular seasons you’ll see, UNC picked the wrong time to play just an absolute dud of a first half, going into the break down 17 against Kansas in the Final Four. There’s some competition, but this is one of the best teams ever to not win a title.

1972-73

Record: 25-8 (8-4 ACC)

NCAA Tournament Finish: None, NIT semifinals

Best Win: 12/11/72 - 78-70 at #8 Kentucky

AP Poll Peak Ranking: #3

Another victim of the pre-at large bid era. A consistent top 15 team with a second place finish in the ACC is a team that gets about a #3/4 seed in today’s era, but missed it completely back then. This was a team full of future notable NBA names as Bobby Jones, George Karl, and Mitch Kupchak all featured for this team.

Poll

Who was better?

This poll is closed

  • 95%
    #3. 2007-08
    (386 votes)
  • 4%
    #14. 1972-73
    (19 votes)
405 votes total Vote Now

#7. 1940-41 vs. #10. 1975-76

1940-41

Record: 19-9 (14-1 Southern)

NCAA Tournament Finish: Elite Eight

It should be noted that this team made the “Elite Eight” because only eight teams made the NCAA Tournament back then, so there is an asterisk on their seed in this tournament. However, this was UNC’s first ever NCAAT appearance, thanks in large part to the play of George Glamack.

1975-76

Record: 25-4 (11-1 ACC)

NCAA Tournament Finish: Round of 32

Best Win: 2/11/76 - 95-93 @ #2 Maryland

AP Poll Peak Ranking: #3

The NCAAT had at larges by this point, but they still weren’t seeding it. That meant that UNC, who went into the tournament ranked #5, drew #8 Alabama in their first game and lost. Otherwise, it was a really good season for a Tar Heel team led by Phil Ford, Walter Davis, and Kupchak.

Poll

Who was better?

This poll is closed

  • 10%
    #7. 1940-41
    (41 votes)
  • 89%
    #10. 1975-76
    (352 votes)
393 votes total Vote Now

#2. 2004-05 vs. #15. 1964-65

2004-05

Record: 33-4 (14-2 ACC)

NCAA Tournament Finish: National Champions

Best Win: 4/4/05 - 75-70 vs. #1 Illinois

AP Poll Peak Ranking: #2

The ‘04-05 team is one of two national champions bumped down to the #2 seed based on winning percentage. Roy Williams won his first national championship thanks to a season where they beat five ranked teams in the regular season and another four in the tournament. This season led to four Tar Heels being selected in the first 14 picks of that summer’s NBA Draft.

1964-65

Record: 15-9 (10-4 ACC)

NCAA Tournament Finish: None

Best Win: 1/9/65 - 65-62 at #6 Duke

AP Poll Peak Ranking: #13

This was the season the season where Dean Smith was famously hung in effigy after one particularly bad loss. It was also the season where he turned this around for good. After finishing .500 the previous year, he got Billy Cunningham led squad back over .500, something he would do every year for the rest of his career.

Poll

Who was better?

This poll is closed

  • 99%
    #2. 2004-05
    (410 votes)
  • 0%
    #15. 1964-65
    (3 votes)
413 votes total Vote Now