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Late Night With Roy celebrates six national titles

Tyler Zeller takes a shot during the men's basketball scrimmage at Late Night with Roy Friday night.
Tyler Zeller takes a shot during the men's basketball scrimmage at Late Night with Roy Friday night.

The last time North Carolina was seen on a basketball court, UNC’s players were crowned the kings of college basketball.

Friday night, the Tar Heels returned to action as kings yet again ­— this time of rock and roll.

And as the sounds of “Jailhouse Rock” serenaded the Smith Center while the entire team emerged from the tunnel in sharp Carolina blue suits, wigs, black aviators and white sequined belts, it seemed as though Elvis lived again.

At least until the dancing started.

The Elvis attire was just one part of UNC’s Late Night With Roy, the annual party to kick off official basketball activities for the upcoming season.

The theme for this year’s show quickly shaped up as an homage to UNC’s 100 years of basketball, with the team forgoing its usual skits to bust a move to music selections from the title years of 1957, 1982, 1993, 2005 and 2009.

And as the titles the Tar Heels revisited became more familiar, so did the tracks.

Among the tunes played were the theme song from the “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” Kanye West’s “Gold Digger,” and Lonely Island’s “I’m On A Boat” — with the lyrics altered, of course, to reflect the fact that the players were actually on a “court.”

But the moves the players displayed in unison with these classics didn’t quite turn out to be as smooth as the originals.

Center Tyler Zeller said before the event that he had already come to grips with the knowledge that his dancing abilities still needed plenty of work, and, if emcee Stuart Scott’s opinion means anything, a couple more players might need to be added to that category.

“For their sake, that’s just between us, right?” Scott asked the crowd in jest after a dance to Bob Seger’s “Old Time Rock and Roll.”

But it was a 30-second video short, the brainchild of freshman David Wear, which stole the majority of the laughs for the night.

The clip was a mockery of the departed Tyler Hansbrough’s recent AT&T commercial, but instead of a “lost dog,” a girl was searching for a “lost trophy.”

That girl happened to be played by fellow freshman John Henson, and Wear and his twin brother, Travis, took the part of Hansbrough.

The search followed along with the commercial exactly, and ended with the Wear brothers giving their best Hansbrough smile impressions while Henson screamed in delight at finally finding his lost 2009 national championship trophy.

But the men’s basketball team wasn’t the only ones to show off its personality. On the women’s side, the Lady Tar Heels showed their lighter side by venturing to find “Carolina’s Best Dance Crew.”

In order to find the best dancers, the mock competition was stocked with three judges. And though a couple of the dance crews showed off a couple of nice moves, the judges made it clear in their comments they didn’t like any of them.

The motive behind this negativity was revealed soon enough, as the judges proclaimed themselves the best dance crew and put on their own performance in front of the other dance crews.

But while in the skit the judges are supposed to have the last laugh, the crowd at the Smith Center disagreed with their assessment, instead cheering on guard Italee Lucas as the best dancer.

To close the entertainment, the men’s basketball team dragged coach Roy Williams and the other UNC assistant coaches onto the court and into a dance circle.

After a little bit of hesitation, Williams and the other staffers put their dance moves on display, showing that they not only could get low, but also draw the loudest cheers from the audience.

The extra cheers for the coaches didn’t slip past Scott, who did his best to knock the kings off their thrones.

“It’s a shame that the head coach and assistant coaches can rock this dance floor better than the players.”



Contact the Sports Editor at sports@unc.edu.

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