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The Greatest Ever UNC Team: Championship Game!

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Prepare “One Shining Moment” because it’s time for the title game.

NCAA Basketball: Final Four Championship Game-Gonzaga vs North Carolina Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

After five rounds, we are down to two in our tournament to find the best North Carolina Tar Heels men’s basketball team of all time. Four other NCAA Tournament champions, and 18 other Final Four teams are included among the 62 teams that have been left behind along the way. Countless incredible UNC players and some incredibly historic teams didn’t even make the Final Four, let alone this final matchup.

In some ways, this is a perfect final two in a symbolic sense. The two most legendary coaches who have ever held the head coach role at UNC are Dean Smith and Roy Williams. While it seems silly in retrospect considering their careers, both at one time were tagged with the distinction that they “couldn’t win the big one” aka a national championship. So with us down to two, funnily enough, it’s the two teams that proved those statements incorrect: 1981-82 for Smith and 2004-05 for Williams. Between them, these two teams include nine NBA players, six all-Americans, and just some guy considered the greatest of all time by many. It’s two very incredible teams.

So now it’s up to you. Vote below in our final poll as finally crown the greatest UNC men’s basketball team of all time!

Championship Game

2004-05 vs. 1981-82

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

Road to the Championship Game:

R1: 99% vs. 1964-65

R2: 99% vs. 1975-76

S16: 86% vs. 2007-08

E8: 63% vs. 1992-93

F4: 57% vs. 1956-57

Roy Williams’ first championship team has knocked off an impressive list of teams to make it to this game. They’ve taken down two other national champions in ‘92-93 and ‘56-57, and they’ve beaten the ‘07-08 team that was one of the best ever teams that didn’t win it all.

In real life, Sean May, Raymond Felton and co beat an incredible Illinois team to win the title. This time around, they’ll have to face possibly the Illinois of this bracket in the ‘81-82 team. Can they do it again or is this one a bridge too far?

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

Road to the Championship Game:

R1: 98% vs. 2019-20

R2: 95% vs. 2018-19

S16: 99% vs. 1971-72

E8: 92% vs. 2015-16

F4: 53% vs. 2008-09

After going through the first four rounds in dominant fashion, Dean Smith’s first title team faced a massive test in the Final Four. It was an extremely close contest, but the ‘81-82 team eked out a win over ‘08-09 by just 31 votes.

In real life, this team needed a last minute shot by Michael Jordan to pull out the championship against Georgetown. Will they get that again this time around, or will James Worthy, Sam Perkins and co fall prey to an upset?

Poll

Who was better?

This poll is closed

  • 20%
    2004-05
    (148 votes)
  • 79%
    1981-82
    (582 votes)
730 votes total Vote Now

Thanks to everyone that’s voted so far for helping with this distraction fun in these sports-less times!