Deon Thompson (21) and North Carolina enter the season ranked in the top 10 despite losing four of five starters. DTH File Photo

Expectations still high for UNC

In the weeks leading up to the start of the 2009-10 men’s basketball season, Roy Williams did a series of double takes.

North Carolina’s head coach looked at three magazines that published preseason rankings, and in each one, there North Carolina sat: No. 4 in one, No. 4 again and No. 5 in another.

Williams didn’t know what to think.

“It’s unbelievable to me,” Williams said. “That was where I would expect us to be picked in our league, and that’s where we were picked in the nation.”

Men's basketball

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Marcus Ginyard is back for his fifth campaign in argyle and blue. DTH File Photo

Drew brings a revamped game to UNC

Back in May, Larry Drew II returned to California for the off season. After only a week, his father, Larry Drew, took Drew II to dinner at a nearby T.G.I. Friday’s. During the meal, the elder Drew left and went to the car. When he returned, he wasn’t empty-handed.“He came back with a folder and dropped it on the table,” Drew II said. “It was like, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday. It was like everything that I would do all day, he just had a schedule. He basically had it all planned before I even got there.”

M. Basketball: Henson stars in exhibition

In between all of the dancing, acting and video montages, there was actually some basketball played Friday at Late Night with Roy. The annual event was the first official practice for North Carolina’s men’s and women’s basketball teams.And sure, it’s always a little sloppy. But it’s a first look at the upcoming year’s team, as well as a first glimpse at the incoming class of freshmen. One of those newcomers didn’t disappoint on Friday. John Henson, who is a long, ultra-athletic 6-foot-10, led the white team with 10 points.

“All over the world wherever you go it’s Michael Jordan, 23 and North Carolina.”  Dick Baddour,  UNC athletic director

Michael Jordan earns Hall of Fame honors

His Airness. M.J. Air Jordan. Before Michael Jordan was any of these things, before he was the most recognizable athlete in the world, he was Mike Jordan, the freshman for North Carolina. Then he hit a game-winning shot in the 1982 national championship game, and Mike became Michael Jordan, who became all of the above.

Slideshow: Michael Jordan through the years

On Saturday, September 12, 2009 Michael Jordan will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. These photos, from the UNC and DTH archives, showcase his time at UNC.

Four Tar Heel alumni selected in NBA draft

It's not every day that an NBA legend compares himself to a league rookie. But that's exactly what happened with Tyler Hansbrough. After being selected as the 13th pick in the 2009 NBA Draft last Thursday Hansbrough found himself face to face with Indiana Pacers president and now his boss Larry Bird at an introductory conference for the team's fans.

Senior Tyler Hansbrough celebrates with his teammates after winning the NCAA championship game against MSU at Detroit?s Ford Field.

M. Basketball: UNC routs in championship game

APRIL 6 DETROIT — It started when they decided to come back. Four players declining the riches of the NBA motivated to make one more run at history. One more run at a national title.

Senior Danny Green was named a permanent captain at Thursday?s end-of-the-year awards ceremony for the men?s basketball team.

Heels celebrate '09 season say goodbye to senior class

Athletic Director Dick Baddour opened things up with the obvious at the 2008-09 North Carolina Tar Heel Basketball Awards Ceremony in the Smith Center on Thursday. ""It's a great day to be a Tar Heel"" Baddour said. For the national champion North Carolina Tar Heels and their fans, it certainly was.

Ed Davis to return for sophomore season

Ed Davis is looking forward to playing another year for the Tar Heels and will skip the NBA Draft this season he said in a statement released by UNC Athletics on Sunday.

M. Basketball: Detroit rallies behind MSU

DETROIT — The Michigan State Spartans have made an improbable run to Monday's national championship game but at this point even they know they're part of something a little bigger than basketball. Like it or not one of the unique things about sports is that they can sometimes become attached to much larger societal issues.

Tyler Hansbrough and the Tar Heels got off to a hot start in the first half Saturday against Villanova. The senior?s 18 points and 11 rebounds in the game led North Carolina in the post and put UNC in the national title matchup.

M. Basketball: UNC plays for title after Final Four win over 'Nova

DETROIT — They made it. This is right where the North Carolina Tar Heels hoped — or perhaps even expected — to be from the moment this season started. Saturday's 83-69 Final Four win against Villanova wasn't an ideal performance by any means. Truthfully it was about as disjointed as they come.

M. Basketball: Heels take Villanova

DETROIT -- Half of it was flowing. Full of swishes lay ups and a big 49 on the scoreboard. The other half? Try hacks blood and bricks. In a word ugly. The Tar Heels tried a variety of styles on for size on Saturday in the national semifinals against Villanova. But whether it was beautiful or brutal on the surface the result was the same.

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Guard play de_¶ nes late matchup

Though the Villanova Wildcats have a reputation as a guard-heavy team their leading scorer has taken no 3-pointers this tournament and a grand total of two for the season. The focus for this team might start on the perimeter but 16.2 points a game from 6-foot-8 senior forward Dante Cunningham certainly can't be ignored by North Carolina when Saturday's Final Four matchup rolls around.