It was a perfect opportunity for a new star to step up. Coasting along with a precarious 10-7 advantage in the third quarter against Southern Methodist and with Kenan Stadium non-reactive in nervous anticipation, a new star emerged. Well, maybe a old star. Sophomore tailback Willie Parker, who rushed for 355 yards last season, began the 2001 season expected to be the team's starter.
The first-half numbers were both embarrassing and impressive. Twenty-two turnovers. Nineteen points. A 39-point halftime deficit. With a quick full-court press in the game's first 20 minutes, the North Carolina women's basketball team jumped on top of Kentucky early and cruised to a 102-64 victory before 1,145 at Carmichael Auditorium. UNC (6-1) took advantage of UK's sloppy play and quickly expanded a 13-8 game into a 58-19 lead at halftime.
Nikki Teasley has been there before. Teasley, a North Carolina guard, faced a daunting challenge as a freshman: playing at women's basketball mecca No. 1 Tennessee in the NCAA tournament. The freshman learned the lesson of maintaining composure in a hostile environment that ended with a close 76-70 loss to end the Tar Heels' 1997-98 season. Thursday night, UNC faces another No. 1, Connecticut, in another raucous arena -- Gampel Pavilion -- in the third round of the 2001 Preseason Women's National Invitational Tournament.
It took all of nine seconds to prove she was back. Nikki Teasley, suiting up for the North Carolina women's basketball team for her first regular-season game in more than 19 months, entered the Tar Heels' game against Evansville with 15:59 remaining in the first half. She did not disappoint. Just after she entered the contest to loud vocal support at Carmichael Auditorium, Teasley already was creating. She slashed to the hole and whipped a crisp pass to forward Chrystal Baptist on the left side of the goal for a layup.
As redshirt freshman in 1997, Susan Hayes and Carrie Lingo felt the euphoria and excitement of being a part of an NCAA field hockey champion team. But since North Carolina's 1997 title, the program has failed to again reach that pinnacle, falling in the second round in 1998 and 1999 and losing in the championship game last season. Now as seniors, Hayes and Lingo have a chance to bookend their careers with another NCAA championship run. Fourth-ranked UNC begins its pursuit of the program's fifth title Saturday on the road in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Something had to give. One team, Wake Forest, entered its first-round ACC Tournament contest against North Carolina as a confident bunch, ranked No. 3 in the nation and winners of 10 straight games. The other, No.
If it's broke, don't fix it. Slash it. For Major League Baseball, the new line of wisdom in handling the game's economic woes is to contract the league itself. That means the outright shutdown of the league's cash-strapped bottom feeders. Montreal Expos, you of the 3,000-person average attendance, adios. Tampa Bay Devil Rays, you of the hideous uniforms and heinous record, sayonara. Minnesota Twins, see you...
It could be an epic free-for-all, a weekend pitting three of the top four ranked teams in the national poll against one another. It is the ACC field hockey tournament, and one of three evenly matched teams -- North Carolina, Maryland and Wake Forest -- is likely to capture the tournament crown. "I feel that all the teams are so strong athletically that the conference is piled up," said Maryland coach Missy Meharg. "I think the tournament is open for anybody to take." From 1983 to 1996, the Tar Heels breezed through the ACC tourney, winning 13 conference titles.
NORFOLK, Va. -- Pinned in a scoreless game against William & Mary, the veterans on North Carolina's field hockey team came through when it mattered most. The Tar Heels' (14-5) elder players helped beat the Tribe 2-0 on Sunday after losing to Old Dominion on Saturday. With the weekend split, UNC moved closer to locking up home-field advantage for the NCAA Tournament on Nov. 10 and 11. But it didn't come without any struggles.
Lost in the shuffle of North Carolina's 30-24 victory against Virginia was the play from safety Dexter Reid, the man responsible for a 67-yard interception return that broke the Cavaliers' backs. Reid had six total tackles on the day but will be remembered most for his instinct with 12:45 left in the fourth quarter. Reid's quick hands off a deflected pass from Cavalier quarterback Matt Schaub all but saved UNC. Trailing 23-17 early in the fourth quarter, Virginia marched to the UNC 35 and looked to score the go-ahead touchdown. Enter Reid.