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The Greatest UNC Team Bracket: Round 1, Part 3

The team with the most famous shot in school history is included among this set of matchups as we crown the greatest Tar Heels team.

NCAA Basketball: Duke at North Carolina Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Our third region of the Greatest Ever UNC Team bracket is named after the Tar Heels’ current coach, Roy Williams. However, its headlining team is the most notable one of his mentor.

Here are eight more first round matchups for you to vote on!

Roy Williams Region

#1. 1981-82 vs. #16. 2019-20

1981-82

Record: 32-2 (12-2 ACC)

NCAA Tournament Finish: National Champions

Best Win: 3/29/82 - 63-63 vs. #6 Georgetown

AP Poll Peak Ranking: #1

Whether or not you think this was UNC’s best ever season will be determined by this tournament, but 1981-82 is arguably the school’s most famous season. It was the one where Dean Smith won his first national championship. James Worthy’s big season would see him get taken first in that year’s NBA Draft. Oh, and that Michael Jordan guy did something big, I think.

2019-20

Record: 14-19 (6-14 ACC)

NCAA Tournament Finish: None

Best Win: 1/27/20 - 75-65 at NC State

AP Poll Peak Ranking: #5

And here we have the season just gone by. It’s hard to argue it wasn’t a disappointment, made all the worse with the injury troubles the team dealt with. While we’ll never know how this college basketball season could have ended, we do know how UNC’s season did.

Poll

Who was better?

This poll is closed

  • 98%
    #1. 1981-82
    (316 votes)
  • 1%
    #16. 2019-20
    (6 votes)
322 votes total Vote Now

#8. 2018-19 vs. #9. 1991-92

2018-19

Record: 29-7 (16-2 ACC)

NCAA Tournament Finish: Sweet 16

Best Win: 12/15/18 - 103-90 vs. #4 Gonzaga

AP Poll Peak Ranking: #3

Eight wins over top 25 teams, a regular season sweep over Duke, Cam Johnson and Coby White having incredibly fun seasons, this year had a lot going for it. They deservedly got a #1 seed in the NCAAT and looked to have the potential to make a third Final Four in four years. Unfortunately, their worst game of the season just came at a really bad time as they were knocked out by Auburn.

1991-92

Record: 23-10 (9-7 ACC)

NCAA Tournament Finish: Sweet 16

Best Win: 12/4/91 - 83-54 at #6 Seton Hall

AP Poll Peak Ranking: #4

In mid-February, this team was sitting at 18-3, ranked fourth in the country and on the verge of a high NCAAT seed. However, they went on to lose five of six to close the regular season, dropping them to a #4 seed. They won their first two games but ran into top seeded Ohio State, who outscored the Tar Heels by 12 in the second half to eliminate them. Better things were ahead the following year, though.

Poll

Who was better?

This poll is closed

  • 84%
    #8. 2018-19
    (259 votes)
  • 15%
    #9. 1991-92
    (49 votes)
308 votes total Vote Now

#5. 1966-67 vs. #12. 2012-13

1966-67

Record: 26-6 (12-2 ACC)

NCAA Tournament Finish: Final Four

Best Win: 12/13/66 - 64-55 at #4 Kentucky

AP Poll Peak Ranking: #2

This was the year that saw Dean Smith lead UNC to the NCAAT for the first time in his tenure. They finished first in the ACC and swept second place Duke in three meetings. Bob Lewis and Larry Miller led the squad to the Final Four where they fell to Dayton.

2012-13

Record: 25-11 (12-6 ACC)

NCAA Tournament Finish: Second Round

Best Win: 12/29/12 - 79-73 vs. #20 UNLV

AP Poll Peak Ranking: #9

This was a rebuilding year after losing a lot of player from the 2011-12 squad that was one of the best in the country. Inserting P.J. Hairston into the starting lineup in February turned things around after a mostly mediocre first half of the year. However, they just ran into a better team in Kansas in the NCAAT.

Poll

Who was better?

This poll is closed

  • 87%
    #5. 1966-67
    (262 votes)
  • 12%
    #12. 2012-13
    (38 votes)
300 votes total Vote Now

#4. 1971-72 vs. #13. 1998-99

1971-72

Record: 26-5 (9-3 ACC)

NCAA Tournament Finish: Final Four

Best Win: 3/16/72 - 92-69 vs. #6 South Carolina

AP Poll Peak Ranking: #2

After a two-year absence from the tournament, Smith and his team returned this year and made it all the way to the Final Four. Thanks to the tournament set up, they had quite the path to do it too. UNC went into the NCAAT ranked #2 and had to beat #6 South Carolina and #3 Penn just to get to the Final Four. They lost to Florida State when they got there, but rebounded to beat #4 Louisville in the third place game, back when that still existed.

1998-99

Record: 24-10 (10-6 ACC)

NCAA Tournament Finish: First Round

Best Win: 11/27/98 - 57-49 vs. #3 Stanford

AP Poll Peak Ranking: #3

Bill Guthridge’s team got to #3 in the country thanks to an 8-0 start and two wins over top 15 teams. However, a loss to College of Charleston would be a sign of things to come. The team was fine, but not great in ACC play and then was famously upset by Harold Arceneaux and Weber State in the NCAAT.

Poll

Who was better?

This poll is closed

  • 88%
    #4. 1971-72
    (256 votes)
  • 11%
    #13. 1998-99
    (32 votes)
288 votes total Vote Now

#6. 2006-07 vs. #11. 2005-06

2006-07

Record: 31-7 (11-5 ACC)

NCAA Tournament Finish: Elite Eight

Best Win: 11/29/06 - 98-89 vs. #3 Ohio State

AP Poll Peak Ranking: #1

After Tyler Hansbrough’s breakthrough freshman season, the team took a big step forward the next season with the incoming class that included the likes of Ty Lawson, Wayne Ellington, and Brandan Wright. They received a top seed in the tournament, but a disappointing loss to Georgetown in the Elite Eight ended the season early.

2005-06

Record: 23-8 (12-4 ACC)

NCAA Tournament Finish: Second Round

Best Win: 3/4/06 - 83-76 at #1 Duke

AP Poll Peak Ranking: #10

Speaking of, here’s Hansborough’s breakthrough freshman season! After going into the season unranked, the Tar Heels rode the phenom to a really good season and a #3 seed. They were upset by Cinderella story George Mason, however.

Poll

Who was better?

This poll is closed

  • 84%
    #6. 2006-07
    (241 votes)
  • 15%
    #11. 2005-06
    (43 votes)
284 votes total Vote Now

#3. 2015-16 vs. #14. 2002-03

2015-16

Record: 33-7 (14-4 ACC)

NCAA Tournament Finish: National Runners-Up

Best Win: 3/12/16 - 61-57 vs. #4 Virginia

AP Poll Peak Ranking: #1

Brice Johnson’s All-American season helped take this team from a pretty good one the season before into a genuine title contender. An ACC regular season and tournament sweep got them a #1 seed and they made it all the way to the title game where (404 File Not Found)

2002-03

Record: 19-16 (6-10 ACC)

NCAA Tournament Finish: None, NIT quarterfinals

Best Wins: 11/27/02 - 67-56 vs. #2 Kansas

AP Poll Peak Ranking: #12

This was the first season of the May/Felton/McCants recruiting class that helped bring the program back to glory. It was also the last season of the Matt Doherty era, meaning they missed the NCAAT.

Poll

Who was better?

This poll is closed

  • 96%
    #3. 2015-16
    (274 votes)
  • 3%
    #14. 2002-03
    (9 votes)
283 votes total Vote Now

#7. 1982-83 vs. #10. 1958-59

1982-83

Record: 28-8 (12-2 ACC)

NCAA Tournament Finish: Elite Eight

Best Win: 1/15/83 - 101-95 at #2 Virginia

AP Poll Peak Ranking: #1

Following his national championship winning shot, this was the season where Michael Jordan truly began to turn into the legend he is today. He averaged 20 points per game, leading the Tar Heels to the ACC regular season title.

1958-59

Record: 20-5 (12-2 ACC)

NCAA Tournament Finish: First Round (23 team tournament)

Best Win: 1/14/59 - 72-68 at #1 NC State

AP Poll Peak Ranking: #1

A balanced lineup featuring five double digit scorers led the Heels back to the NCAAT after a year absence following the ‘57 championship. When they got there they lost to former UNC coach Ben Carnevale’s Navy team.

Poll

Who was better?

This poll is closed

  • 94%
    #7. 1982-83
    (259 votes)
  • 5%
    #10. 1958-59
    (15 votes)
274 votes total Vote Now

#2. 1945-46 vs. #15. 1959-60

1945-46

Record: 30-5 (13-1 Southern)

NCAA Tournament Finish: National Runners-Up

Speaking of Carnevale, he led UNC to the national championship game in his final season in Chapel Hill. The Hook Dillon and Bones McKinney led squad fell to defending champions Henry Iba’s Oklahoma A&M (now Oklahoma State) in the title game.

1959-60

Record: 18-6 (12-2 ACC)

NCAA Tournament Finish: None

Best Win: 1/9/60 - 62-59 vs. #8 Wake Forest

AP Poll Peak Ranking: #12

This is another team that would have been a shoo-in for an at-large bid had the tournament been like it is now. The Doug Moe and Lee Shaffer led squad was perfectly good, but just couldn’t win the ACC to get a NCAAT spot.

Poll

Who was better?

This poll is closed

  • 88%
    #2. 1945-46
    (239 votes)
  • 11%
    #15. 1959-60
    (30 votes)
269 votes total Vote Now