The press release said the team would be there at 6:30 on Tuesday evening. It ended up being closer to 7 p.m., but the crowd didn’t care. When Isaiah Hicks led the team out of the Smith Center, the vibrations were tangible. It was UNC basketball as it should be, on its way to Phoenix for its NCAA record 20th Final Four.
And the Tar Heels’ fans were there to send them on their way.
“It’s exciting to see them off,” said Jo Ann Harllee, who’s attending the Final Four this year with her husband, Jim.
The stars, of course, were out for the evening. Luke Maye, the man behind the dagger just two days ago in Memphis, heard a chorus of “Luuuuke” as he high-fived the crowd. Joel Berry took video from his phone as he walked through the crowd. Head coach Roy Williams took his time, shaking every hand down the line as he marched toward the bus with his sweater vest and plaid jacket setting the tone.