Back on Thursday, we look at some of the weirdest head-to-head records in North Carolina football history. Now it’s basketball’s turn.
Unlike in football, there aren’t many positive head-to-head records on the men’s basketball list. That’s because there’s no team that you would be shocked to see the Tar Heels have an above .500 record against. The only teams we as Carolina fans can even slightly envy is UCLA and Kentucky because of their greater number of NCAA Tournament championships. However, UNC even leads the head-to-head series against both those programs.
There are only 26 programs against which UNC has gone .500 or worse against, here are the most random from that group.
0-5 vs. West Virginia
Five is the most amount of times UNC has played a team without beating them. The Mountaineers are the only team that holds that edge on the Tar Heels, although the two have not met since 1965.
The fourth loss in that series came on December 21, 1957 when the Tar Heels were the #1 ranked team in the country. That was the season following UNC’s undefeated national championship team of 1956-57, and the loss snapped a 37-game Tar Heel winning streak that dated back to December 4, 1956.
0-1 vs. Drake
UNC was ranked #4 when they lost in their only meeting against Drake. The Bulldogs were a good team at #11 and this was a 1969 NCAA Tournament game, but the Heels still lost by 20. Drake also had a played named Don Draper, so as another character from “Mad Men” says, “Not great, Bob.”
1-3 vs. Navy
The service academy were powerhouses in the early days of college football, but that really didn’t transfer over to the basketball court. David Robinson led the Midshipmen to an Elite Eight in 1986, and they made another back in 1954. However other than that, Navy’s NCAA Tournament record is nothing to write home about. Despite that, it took until 1998 for the Tar Heels to beat them in a basketball game.
They finally ended that streak with a win in a 1/16 game in the first round of the 1998 NCAAT, but it wasn’t the first time the two had met in the Tournament. Back in 1959, Navy beat Carolina in the first round of the 23-team NCAA Tournament. Navy’ coach that day was Ben Carnevale who had led UNC to a national championship game appearance back in 1946 before leaving for Annapolis after that season. Carnevale was also the coach for the other two Navy wins, so it appeared that he had it out for his former team.
3-8 vs. Texas
There is a stat, mainly used in baseball analytics, called pythagorean record. What it does is measure what your record theoretically should be based on the number of runs you scored compared to what you allowed. If you transfer that to basketball, not only should UNC not be this far behind against Texas, they should be leading the series.
All time the Tar Heels have outscored the Longhorns in their 11 meetings, yet trail by five games in the head-to-head. That’s happened because their three wins have been by 36, 4, 19 points respectively. Meanwhile, they have six different one-possession losses in series history.
2-2 vs. Wofford
Three of the meetings against the Terriers have come recently, so let’s take a look at the highlights:
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