Rank ‘Em: Best Decades of Tar Heel Basketball Since 1950

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#6 – 1960’s

The 1960’s started out as a transitional period for the program. Frank McGuire stepped down and recommended the man who the gym is currently named after, Dean Smith as his successor. The first few seasons for Smith were a bit of rebuilding. He went 8-9 in his first season and the team didn’t qualify for an NCAA tournament until 1967. However, from 1967 and on the Tar Heels became a team you could almost guarantee to win 20 games in the regular season every year. Smith led the team back to the title game in 1968 where they fell to the dynasty that was UCLA in those days. They had a decent big man on the team back then by the name of Lew Alcindor, more commonly known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

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  • Accomplishments:

    3 NCAA tournament appearances (1967-1969)
    3 Final Fours (1967-1969)
    1 National Runner-Up (1968 Lost to UCLA)
    3 ACC tournament championships (1967-1969)
    5 ACC regular season championships (1960 & 1961, 1967-1969)
    184 victories

    4 ACC POY’s
    Lee Shaffer (1960)
    Billy Cunningham (1965)
    Larry Miller (1966 & 1967)

    NBA Alumni (6): Lee Shaffer (1962-1964), Billy Cunningham (1966-1976), Doug Moe (1968-1972), Bobby Lewis (1968-1971), Larry Brown (1968-1972), Larry Miller (1969-1975)