Saturday will mark the 6th time Syracuse has met North Carolina under the reign of the Great Jim Boeheim. A Boeheim squad last met the Tar Heels a mere four years ago, after a 22 year span between previous meetings ('87-2009). During that span the Tar Heels changed coaches 3 times (Gutheridge '97-2000, Doherty '00-2003, Williams '03-present), went to nine (9) Final Fours and won three National Titles ('93, '05, '09). So they kept busy while they while were avoiding the Orange.
Random Stats (accuracy not guaranteed so double check before you start making bets in bars):
2-3 Boeheim's record against UNC
1-3 Boeheim's record against Dean Smith UNC teams
0-1 Dean Smiths record against non-Boeheim coached Syracuse teams (3/20/75 NCAA Tournament)
0-2 Dean Smith's record against Syracuse in the NCAA Tournament (0-1 v. Boeheim)
1-0 Boeheim's record against Roy Williams UNC teams
3-1 Boeheim's career record against Roy Williams
This will be the first time Boeheim has coached against UNC while the Tar Heels are not ranked. (SU has been unranked twice, losing to #1 UNC in Dec. '83, and knocking off #6 UNC in Dec. '09)
*This will be the first meeting between Boeheim and Williams in a non-tournament setting ('96 NCAA, '01 NCAA, '03 NCAA, '09 2K Sports Classic MSG)
Big East School North Carolina reminds me of: St. John's I've long viewed North Carolina as the standard bearer of the ACC and Duke as more of the upstart. Stereo types that worked better 25 years ago, but still hold up to some degree today. Additionally UNC still has an edge on Duke for all-time wins and National Championships. When the Big East formed St. John's was the closest thing we had to a blue blood. At the time St. John's was one of the winningest programs of all-time (they sit at #7 on that list 30 years later) and were the leader amongst Big East schools (we've since passed them). So this comparison has nothing to do with present day state of the programs, but just historical positioning during our first year in a new league.
Player I think of when I think of UNC: Eric Montross
It felt like Montross was at UNC for a decade. He was one of those guys, but the two-time All-American was only there the usual 4 years. His numbers, and team success can't match that of some of the Tar Heels that came before and after him, but he was the face of the Tar Heel team that won their 1st Nat'l Title after the advent of cable television and wide-spread NCAA Tournament coverage. Beating an iconic Michigan team in the '93 Final also helped etched this regrettable looking face forever into my memory as well. Montross never played against SU.
Tar Heels to play against SU and go on to play in the NBA:
Individual Game Results (Boeheim vs. UNC)
Jan. 8, 1983 @UNC #18 North Carolina 87, #9 Syracuse 64 Erich Santifer 24 pts
Dec. 10 1983 Dome #1 North Carolina 87, Syracuse 54 Rafael Addison 18 pts
Mar. 21, 1987 NCAA Regional Final #10 Syracuse 79, #2 North Carolina 75 Rony Seikaly 26 pts
Nov. 21, 1987 Springfield, MA #3 North Carolina 96, #1 Syracuse 93 Rony Seikaly 23 pts
Nov. 20, 2009 MSG Syracuse 87, #6 North Carolina 71 Wes Johnson 25 pts
Individual Game Results (Boeheim vs. Roy Williams while at Kansas)
Mar. 24 1996 NCAA Regional Final #15 Syracuse 60, #4 Kansas 57 John Wallace & Otis Hill 15 pts
Mar. 18 2001 NCAA 2nd Rd #12 Kansas 87, #17 Syracuse 58 Preston Shumpert and DeShaun Williams 20 pts
Apr. 7 2003 National Championship #13 Syracuse 81, #6 Kansas 78 Carmelo Anthony 20 pts