NEWARK, NJ - MARCH 25: Rameses, the mascot for the North Carolina Tar Heels, cheers during the first half of the east regional semifinal of the 2011 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at the Prudential Center on March 25, 2011 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
This is the tenth installment in a new series about Syracuse's impending move to the ACC. Previous rival profiles: Boston College, Clemson, Duke, Georgia Tech, Miami, NC State, Maryland, Virginia, Florida State.
Syracuse's well-documented move to the ACC of course comes with a host of new friends to play with. While several are neither "new" nor "friends," still consider these posts your primer on which teams, schools, players and coaches you'll be hating from 2014 (2013?) until the next time college football decides to realign.
In our latest profile, we take a look at one of the main schools we'll be battling for hoops supremacy in the coming years. It's your new, Carolina-based overlords: the North Carolina Tar Heels.
School:University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Nickname: Tar Heels
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
Stadium: Kenan Memorial Stadium (capacity: 62,980) | Dean Smith Center (capacity: 21,750)
Football & Basketball Titles: 5 (all basketball -- 1957, 1982, 1993, 2005, 2009)
Notable Football Alums:Lawrence Taylor, T.J. Yates, Julius Peppers, Hakeem Nicks, Jeff Saturday
Notable Basketball Alums: Michael Jordan, Larry Brown, Bob McAdoo, James Worthy, VInce Carter
North Carolina football was never much to brag about, and that was before the NCAA's ruling this week banning them from the 2012 postseason. I'd continue to make jokes about this fact, but unfortunately Syracuse (basketball) is dealing with several issues of its own this season, as we all know. As a program, the Heels have an all-time winning percentage above .560, but have employed 12 different men to coach the team since 1950. For your reference, 'Cuse has had just six in the same period. To further boost our self-esteem, UNC has not won an ACC football title since 1980 and has only won the ACC title five times overall (we've won the Big East on four instances in a fraction of the time). The Tar Heels have also suited up 13 All-Americans, which would be nice if we didn't have 42 of our own. Interestingly enough, we've faced North Carolina just four times on the gridiron, and all of these meetings took place between 1995 and 2003. The overall series is tied 2-2, but they've never won a national title.
As for basketball, there's not much for us to say that could possibly intimidate the Chapel Hill faithful, unfortunately. Their team's won five different NCAA championships (including two in the past decade) and have been to 18 (!!!) Final Fours. They've won the ACC Tournament 17 different times, and have scored the regular season title another 28 times on top of that (picks jaw up off the floor). You thought our 1,800+ wins were impressive? Well they've collected nearly 2,100. And amongst their many accomplished players over the years was a young man named Michael Jordan. Perhaps you've heard of him. On the bright side, we beat the Heels the last time we played them (the '09-'10 season), and are now 3-4 against them overall. Yes, this may all sound a bit haughty, but I'm willing to pay respect. At least they're not Duke, right?
Overall, North Carolina possesses one of just two basketball programs in the conference that could actually knock us down a peg. While UNC and Duke have been the center of the ACC's universe since the dawn of time (which in this case would be 1953), we're really the first challenger (on the court, at least) to possibly sway that focus elsewhere. When they took home this year's championship, Florida State was the second non-Carolina team to win the league tournament since 1993. Here's hoping we're next to lay claim to that sort of distinction.