Over the next two days, we'll count down the best moments from the 2013-14 Carolina basketball season. These aren't necessarily the best games or the biggest wins, but what came to mind when we thought about the most memorable moments from this season. We'll have numbers ten through six today, and then we'll follow up tomorrow with numbers five through one.
We want to hear your favorites, too, so tweet them to us.
10. Team trip to Basketball Hall of Fame
There's just something about walking through the Basketball Hall of Fame after hours with the Tar Heels, with an actual Basketball Hall of Famer as the tour guide-head coach Roy Williams-that sticks in your memory.
This trip, which came before the team traveled to Uncasville, Conn., for the Tip Off Classic, was a fun one, because it gave the players the chance to act like kids with the interactive exhibits and marvel at how, as Joel James said, "Coach Williams doesn't age!" while watching his Hall of Fame acceptance speech.
But some meaningful moments happened here, too. This was the trip when Williams pulled Marcus Paige aside in front of the Bob Cousy Award and explained Carolina's history with the award (Raymond Felton, Ty Lawson and Kendall Marshall are all past winners) and Paige's potential to join their company. Flash forward four months: Paige is one of six finalists and should be a frontrunner for the award next year.
9. Wade Moody gets biscuits
The Tar Heels broke the 100-point mark just once this year, and Wade Moody made sure it was memorable. The senior guard pumped in a three-pointer with 4:36 left, then handed out an assist to Nate Britt, then fired in another three-pointer with 2:06 remaining to bring home the biscuits in a 105-72 rout of the Deacons.
Bonus: this game also included the Tar Heels wearing some very sharp throwback jerseys.
8. Pitt stripeout/alums return
One of the highlights of the home season occurs when the NBA All-Star Break falls on the same weekend with a home basketball game. That was the case this season, so fans with tickets to see the Carolina-Pitt game also got a glimpse of Kendall Marshall, Sean May and Tyler Hansbrough, all of whom attended the narrow 75-71 win over the Panthers.
To add to the atmosphere, the nationally televised game also included the first-ever Smith Center stripeout, which was extremely well executed and looked terrific on TV.
7. Tar Heels brave winter storm, beat Jackets
I'm never gonna forget this— Marcus Paige (@marcuspaige5) January 29, 2014
Carolina usually tries to travel as late as possible on the day before a road game to ensure players can attend all classes and the team can practice at the Smith Center. That's what they did on Jan. 28, but by the time practice was finished in Chapel Hill, conditions were deteriorating in Atlanta, where the Tar Heels were supposed to play at Georgia Tech on Jan. 29.
The plane trip from RDU to Atlanta turned out to be the easy part. With the bus unable to pick them up from the airport because of icy conditions, players and coaches had to haul their gear to the MARTA station, take the mass transit system as close as possible to the hotel, and then walk somewhere between four and eight blocks (depending on who is telling the story) through the ice to the hotel.
Oh--and Carolina won the game, taking a 78-65 decision in the team's first road ACC victory of the season.
6. Defeating the defending champs
Maybe now you'll say that you always knew the Tar Heels had a chance against Louisville. The reality, though, is that in mid-November Carolina was coming off struggling against Holy Cross and losing at home to Belmont. The next opponent, after a win over Richmond, was No. 3 Louisville in the Tip Off Classic title game.
It turned into the first showcase for what the Tar Heels could be. Marcus Paige scored 32 points, Kennedy Meeks had a robust 13 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists, and Brice Johnson added 13 in a 93-84 win. Twelve different Tar Heels played and ten of them scored.