The North Carolina Tar Heels are a men’s intercollegiate basketball team that play for the University of North Carolina. They are commonly referred to as UCN and the team has a long and proud history. Here are ten interesting facts about the team that you may not know.
1. They Won Their First Ever Game
The first game that the team ever played was in January 1910 and they won this game. They beat Virginia Christian 42-21 and this was the beginning of a very successful team. Nathaniel Cartmel was the coach for during the early years and the team joined the Southern Conference in 1921.
2. They Were A Founding Member Of The Atlantic Coast Conference
The Atlantic Coast Conference was founded in 1953 and UNC were one of the first teams to join. They have been members of the conference ever since and it is currently made up of fifteen teams. The teams that make up the conference have changed many times over the years but UNC have been one of the constants for the last sixty years.
3. They Have Won Six NCAA Championship Tournaments
UNC have won the NCAA Championship tournament six times. There are only two other teams that have won the competition more time than this, UCLA who are the record holder and Kentucky.
4. They Have Produced Three Players From The Fifty Greatest Players In NBA History
There have been many great NBA players that have started their careers playing for UNC. Three of the most notable players are Billy Cunningham, James Worthy and Micheal Jordan. Of these players Jordan has won the most championships in the NBA with a total of six titles.
5. They Hold The Title For The Most Outright Regular Season Championships
They have won the Atlantic Coast Conference regular season title over thirty times and there is no other team in the league that have achieved this. They also hold the record for the number of championships that have been won outright with twenty titles. They have been a winning team for so long that there are always new records that they are chasing.
6. They Have The Second All Time Highest Winning Percentage
Since that first game back in 1910, UNC have an all time winning percentage of .739. This is second highest total of all time just behind Duke. Duke’s percentage is within catching distance and it remains a goal of UNC to try and overtake them.
7. Dean Smith Is Their Longest Serving Coach
The team’s longest serving coach was Dean Smith who was in charge of the team for thirty six seasons. He was coach during the most successful period in the teams history. He was the coach that introduced James Worthy and Micheal Jordan to the team. He also did a lot for desegregation and recruited the first African American scholarship player to the team. Charlie Scott joined the team in 1967 and went on to have a successful career in the NBA.
8. He Did Not Get Off To A Winning Start
Dean Smith was a very successful coach but he did not get off to a great start and failed to make much of an impact in his first five seasons. He was not very popular with fans at first who were used to winning under Frank Maguire. However, in the end he managed to turn the fortunes of the team around and this also made him more popular with the fans.
9. They Are One Of Only Four Teams To Reach 2000 Victories
In 2010 the team reached the milestone of reaching 2000 victories. When they achieved this they were only the second team to do this. Even today there are only four teams to have reached this milestone. Alongside UNC these teams are Duke, Kentucky and Kansas. They are only behind Kentucky and Kansas for the title of most victories of all time.
10. They Have Ranked Number One In The Coaches Poll Six Times
The Coaches Poll is a weekly vote where all members vote on the performance of coaches in the league. At the end of the season all of these points are added together and the coach with the most points will be awarded the title. Various coaches of this team have won this award and the team have received this six times in total.