Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Is North Carolina positioned for another NCAA run?

The UNC Tar Heels won the 2008 ACC basketball tournament, but are they really shooting for an NCAA title. How does the current Tar Heel team compare to the 2005 NCAA championship team, who occasionally visit this team at the Dean Smith Center in Chapel Hill? If mindset and tradition is important, the Tar Heels could be difficult to beat.

"They don't say anything to us. We see the banner every day when we practice, and Coach is always stressing it. We really don't know how it feels because we haven't accomplished that. But we can just tell in their eyes when they come back it's something special for all of them."

--Tyler Hansborough, talking about the occassional visits from the
2005 NCAA Men's Basketball Champion Tar Heels players to the Dean Smith

"We play the same style, we believe in the same things. But that team in '05,
when it got into the tournament, really clamped down defensively. So, I'm
hoping that this team will decide to do that as well."

--Roy Williams, UNC head coach.

"These guys have an unbelievable swagger about them. As a player you love to see
that. There's a difference between cockiness and arrogance. But these guys
are just confident in their abilities. I see the same characteristics in the
team that we had."

--Sean May, current NBA Charlotte Bobcats' player and member of 2005 Tar Heels team.

"Just the hard work and the passion. It see that as far as the 2005 team and
this team, the unselfishness of both teams. We have a lot of similarities."

--Quentin Thomas, senior UNC guard who is the only holdover from the
2005 team, when asked about the similarities of the two teams.

" They're built for a title run. I don't think there's any question about it."

--Clemson coach, Oliver Purnell, who lost on Sunday 3/16/08 to UNC in
the ACC conference finals.

Sounds like the Tar Heels are well positioned and have the right mindset for a successful tournament. Let's see if their mindset gives them an advantage.

excerpts taken from the New York Times article by Viv Bernstein, 3/19/2008.
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