GREENVILLE, S.C. — They’re united, all 15 members of the North Carolina men’s basketball team, by long bus rides and hotel rooms and entire afternoons spent sweating together in the Smith Center. But there’s something else that connects them, too: A group chat.
Or, more noteworthy, the name of their group chat. An all-encompassing title — and a subtle reminder — for why this UNC team has acted the way it has all season.
Credit goes to Justin Jackson, who first came up with the name last summer. But bear in mind — this was no recent development. This was months ago, long before he morphed into No. 1 seed UNC’s leading scorer and the eventual ACC Player of the Year. This was way back, almost a year ago now, when the sting from last season’s 77-74 national championship loss to Villanova was still a fresh wound.
“In the back of our minds, last year is always there,” Jackson said ahead of No. 1 seed UNC's Friday matchup against No. 16 seed Texas Southern in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. “So I felt like that might be a little fitting, especially for the guys who were coming back.”