First National Championship for Dean Smith, 1982
On March 29, 1982, Dean Smith won his first NCAA national championship with the Tar Heels men’s basketball team. The Tar Heels won 63-62 over the Georgetown Hoyas at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans.
Stars of the 1981-1982 season included junior forward James Worthy from Gastonia, sophomore center/forward Sam Perkins from New York and freshman guard/forward Michael Jordan from Wilmington. The championship win capped off an impressive season for the Tar Heels, who had a 12-2 record in the ACC and 32-2 record overall that year.
The championship game was tightly contested, and the lead changed 15 times over the course of the evening. The Hoyas were actually up 62-61 with just more than a minute of game time remaining, but after Georgetown called a timeout, Michael Jordan scored a jumpshot with 17 seconds remaining to put Carolina back on top.
Though it was his first national championship, Smith had led the Tar Heels to a number of NCAA regional championships, ACC regular season championships and ACC tournament championships throughout the 1960s and 70s.
He would go to win a second national championship with the Tar Heels before retiring from coaching in 1997. A Basketball Hall of Famer, Smith died in 2015.
Other related resources:
- Basketball and sports on NCpedia
- Photos of basketball from the State Archives
- Sports biographies from NCpedia
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