The 2012-13 school year was yet another showcase for the ongoing success of the University of North Carolina athletic department. Carolina finished eighth in this year's Learfield Sports Directors' Cup standings, the Tar Heels' fifth consecutive top-10 performance. UNC was also the highest-finishing ACC school in the competition for the 15th time in 20 years.
Over the course of the next two weeks, GoHeels.com will take a look back at the greatest games of the 2012-13 school year and count down the top 25 Tar Heel triumphs. Today starts with the first five entries on the list.
No. 25: Carolina 30, NC State 6 - Wrestling, Feb. 1, 2013
Carolina bested its rival in a big way on this night, as the Tar Heel grapplers posted the second-largest dual victory in the long history of the series. The ranked trio of No. 7 Nathan Kraisser (125 pounds), No. 19 Joey Ward (133) and No. 6 Evan Henderson (144) set the tone with three straight decisions before the Tar Heels blew it open. Alex Utley's technical fall win over Keegan Cerwinski punctuated a win that was the biggest over the Wolfpack since 1997.
No. 24: UNC's Big Day at ACCs - Track and Field, April 19, 2013
The Tar Heel track and field program had its most impressive single day of the year at the ACC Outdoor Championships in Raleigh. UNC finished the day in first place on the men's side thanks in large part to the Carolina sweep of the decathlon. The Tar Heels took four of the top five places for a total of 28 team points, and Joe Hutchinson won the title with a personal-best 7,103 points in his first gold medal conference performance. Ryan Ramsey placed second for All-ACC honors with 6,769 points and Paul Haley placed third for All-ACC with 6,735 points, each competing in his first decathlon. Chadd Pierce also scored for the Tar Heels in the decathlon with his PR 6,399-point performance, good for fifth.
No. 23: Peacock Smashes NCAA Record - Swimming and Diving, Dec. 2, 2012
After winning Carolina's first national title in nine years as a sophomore, Stephanie Peacock once again demonstrated her dominance of the 1650-yard freestyle in December. The Cape Coral, Fla., junior broke her own NCAA record in the distance by over a full second when she touched the wall in 15:37.06 at the Ohio State Invitational.
No. 22: Carolina 1, Fairleigh Dickinson 0 (OT) - Men's Soccer, Nov. 25, 2012
The Carolina men's soccer team has made dramatic postseason wins seem commonplace over the last decade, and the 2012 Tar Heels were no exception. After advancing to the round of 16 via penalties against UMBC one week earlier, Carolina faced a stingy Fairleigh Dickinson side for a spot in the national quarterfinals. The two teams played 90 scoreless minutes in regulation before sixth-year senior Cameron Brown slotted home Rob Lovejoy's cross to win it in the second minute of sudden-death overtime.
No. 21: Carolina 11, Johns Hopkins 10 (OT), Men's Lacrosse, March 30, 2013
UNC and Hopkins renewed one of the oldest rivaries in college lacrosse and what resulted was an instant classic. In front of a crowd of almost 6,000 fans at Kenan Stadium and a national television audience, Carolina's Davey Emala scored with just 90 seconds left in regulation to force overtime. Junior R.G. Keenan then won the first face-off of sudden death overtime, took the ball the length of the field and beat Hopkins goalkeeper Pierce Bassett for the game-winner.