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The Daily Tar Heel

Column: UNC is not just a basketball school

UNC field hockey celebrates following their win against Louisville in the ACC Field Hockey Championship on Nov. 8, 2020 in Karen Shelton Stadium. UNC beat Louisville 4-2, securing their fourth consecutive tournament championship.

UNC students are tired of our school being called just a basketball school. History shows that this University is not and has never been just a basketball school, but rather the best sports school in the Triangle and the ACC.

Currently, UNC boasts five number one ranked programs: men’s lacrosse, women’s lacrosse, men’s tennis, women’s tennis and field hockey. 

How does that compare to how our “rivals” are doing? Duke and N.C. State currently have a whopping zero top-ranked NCAA sports. Better luck next time, y’all.

However, the present isn’t the only thing these teams have going for them. Men’s lacrosse is a five-time NCAA champion program and has 13 ACC championships. Women’s lacrosse boasts two NCAA titles, as well as five ACC championships. Men’s tennis has 25 ACC championships. Women’s tennis has 10 ACC championships. Field hockey owns eight NCAA titles and 23 ACC Tournament titles.

The home of 14 teams that have 10 or more ACC titles, UNC boasts both strong men’s and women’s teams. These title-laden teams include women's track and field, women's soccer, field hockey, wrestling, volleyball, baseball, tennis, swimming and diving and men's golf. 

Each team has a great history, none more impressive than women’s soccer — the women’s team with the most championships in the NCAA and the fifth most NCAA championships overall, at 21. 

Despite producing the likes of Mia Hamm, Tobin Heath, Heather O’Reilly and Crystal Dunn, women’s soccer is practically ignored campus-wide. Being the best team on campus should earn these women more respect than it does.

Since most people overlook the women’s soccer team, men’s basketball is UNC’s legacy sport. Despite the team's off year, men’s basketball has 18 ACC Tournament titles and six NCAA titles. In comparison, women’s basketball has nine ACC Tournament championships and one NCAA title. 

Both teams have the potential to go on a tournament run this year and add to their NCAA championships. It isn’t likely considering how they have played thus far, but it is March Madness, after all. 

Despite not being the crown jewel of the athletics department, UNC football owns five ACC championships, the most recent of which was in 1980. 

If Clemson falls off slightly under new quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei and Notre Dame goes back to playing hide-and-seek with the ACC, I would go ahead and pencil UNC to win next year. Led once again by Mack Brown and Sam Howell, the sky is the limit for next year’s team.

Overall, UNC has 45 NCAA team titles and 282 ACC championships. UNC is also the only school to win 200 or more ACC championships. With 282, UNC doubles the next closest, Virginia, at 141.

In national championships, UNC is untouchable by any of our “rivals,” outpacing Duke by 28 NCAA titles and N.C. State by 43. So next time a Duke or State fan talks trash, just remind them that they can’t even come close to UNC in national titles, let alone ACC championships.

So don’t call us just a basketball school — don’t even call us just a sports school. UNC is a well-rounded institution with high-quality athletics and academics that few schools can even come close to matching. 

UNC is the home of champions.


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