March Madness: The 5 best UNC teams to never win a title

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UNC 1987

Kenny Smith_Dawkins_Amaker
The 1987  team was the pre-season #1 ranked NCAA basketball team in the nation. This team was led by senior combo guard Kenny “The Jet” Smith (NBA basketball analyst) and freshman phenom, J.R. Reid. During the 1986-1987 season, Reid was one of very few freshman basketball players that Dean Smith started. J.R. scored 31 points and 13 rebounds in a Sweet 16 game against Notre Dame, who beat Carolina 60-58 during the regular season. /

One notable statistic about this Carolina squad is that they were undefeated in conference play during the regular season. Despite this accolade, UNC lost to N.C. State in the ACC Tournament Championship game, 68-67. Some people consider UNC’s 1987 team as a potential champion of they did not lose to Syracuse in the Elite 8. Their record was 32-4.

In 1987, the Duke-North Carolina rivarly was beginning to kick up dust. The Reid/Ferry and Snyder/Smith matchups contributed to popularizing the best rivalry in sports today.