On Jan. 24, the UNC Board of Trustees approved a contract extension and a $100,000 raise for North Carolina football coach John Bunting. The raise, which takes effect July 1, was met with protest by some students and faculty because it came while the state and University faced down the barrel of a staggering financial crisis. The BOT approved a $400 tuition increase that same meeting.
Boshamer Stadium's new video board failed to work Tuesday when staff tried to turn it on before North Carolina's game. In keeping with the theme, UNC starting pitcher Garry Bakker made sure that Virginia Commonwealth's bats stayed in the off position. Bakker pitched seven innings, giving up one run on four hits to lead the Tar Heels to a 10-2 victory Tuesday night. While the Rams (28-14) couldn't get things going, stranding about a runner an inning, Russ Adams proved that UNC's bats were alive and swinging. He finished the night with three singles, a home run and five RBIs.
The last time the Harvard women's basketball team faced North Carolina, there was an unusually tall girl running UNC's point -- Marion Jones. This time, there was another unusually tall girl running the point, and Nikki Teasley didn't make things any easier on the Crimson than did Jones. "Marion Jones spoiled me," said UNC coach Sylvia Hatchell. "When I had Marion, you know, you could see over other people and they can't press them and all that."
DURHAM -- Thursday, Duke's star guard Jason Williams had a very bad game. He went 4 of 13 from the floor and 1 of 7 from behind the arc for 14 points and turned the ball over eight times as the third-ranked Blue Devils fell 87-84 to Virginia in Charlottesville, Va. Sunday, Williams had a very good game. He went 12 of 22 from the floor, 8 of 15 from behind the arc for 37 points and turned the ball over just once as the Blue Devils thumped North Carolina 93-68 at Cameron Indoor Stadium. "It was his day," said Duke junior Mike Dunleavy. Literally, it was.
Last time round, Kris Lang was holding court with the media, talking North Carolina-Duke basketball. It was a couple days before the Blue Devils were scheduled to come into town for a Jan. 31 contest, and Lang was answering all kinds of questions on the state of the rivalry. And then someone asked about Cameron Indoor Stadium. "It's loud and hot," said Lang with a grin. "It's like playing in a gym in high school." The rivalry is anything but high schoolish, with Dick Vitale and ABC and all the trappings of big-time college athletics.
Larry Shyatt might want to contact the FBI. In the first half of Clemson and North Carolina's Wednesday night contest, Tiger sophomore guard Tony Stockman exploded for 28 points on 8-of-10 shooting from the floor. All of his made baskets were 3-pointers. In the second half, 1-of-6 shooting, no 3s. Invasion of the body snatchers, anyone? "I was really hot," said Stockman, who tied career bests in made field goals, 3s and total points (30). "It was fun while it lasted." Problem was, it didn't last beyond the first 20 minutes.
RALEIGH -- Going into his team's locker room during halftime, N.C. State coach Herb Sendek had plenty of material to work with. His Wolfpack had shot 38.7 percent from the floor, had the ball swiped five times and just wasn't playing well. At the same time, the 'Pack's opponent, North Carolina, was enjoying 54.8 percent shooting, including 50 percent from beyond the arc. The Tar Heels, sitting at the bottom of the conference, also held a 10-point lead.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- North Carolina might want to send referees John Clougherty, David Day and Doug Shows gift baskets. True, the Tar Heels didn't defeat Virginia on Tuesday night, but they came close -- with the help of the charity stripe. UNC got to the free throw line 33 times during the game, hitting 27 of them. The team was held to a season-low 17 field goals and shot 34.7 percent for the game. "I thought our foul shooting kept us in the game," said North Carolina coach Matt Doherty.
North Carolina coach Matt Doherty decided to try something a little bit different to prepare for No. 3 Maryland: no scouting report. One could argue that at UNC and Maryland's first meeting on Jan. 9, the Tar Heels saw everything in the Terrapins' bag of tricks when they lost 112-79. Or that the Tar Heels' chances of winning were so slim that it wasn't worth Doherty's assistants' time. Either way, Doherty decided to simplify things against the Terps.
WINSTON-SALEM -- It was just not their night. The North Carolina men's basketball team suffered all kinds of trouble in the first half of its game against Wake Forest. The No. 19 Demon Deacons defeated the Tar Heels 90-66 on Wednesday, completing the season sweep for the first time since 1969-70. UNC's turnover problems were there, as usual. The Tar Heels (6-14, 2-8 in the ACC) entered the game at Lawrence Joel Coliseum with the ACC's worst turnover margin at minus 3.68.