CHAPEL HILL - The NCAA and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) are celebrating 75 years of March Madness by commissioning one-of-a-kind paintings celebrating each of the national championship coaches who led their teams into history. A painting honoring University of North Carolina coaches of the 1957, 1982, 1993, 2005 and 2009 NCAA championship-winning Tar Heels will be unveiled at Saturday's game against Maryland.
The original art pieces, designed and painted by world-renowned artist Opie Otterstad, are part of a collection of 75 individual paintings, one for each of the 75 national championships from 1939 through 2013. The pieces honoring Coaches McGuire, Smith and Williams will be publicly unveiled at the Smith Center on Saturday during halftime and will be on display on the concourse during the second half.
The original pieces of art will then be auctioned off online starting January 19 at NCAA.com/Art. Limited edition reproductions will also be made available for purchase via the same website on the same date. A portion of the proceeds from the auction will benefit the NABC Foundation, which supports Ticket to Reading Rewards (TTRR), the College Basketball Experience (CBE), and the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame.
"We're pleased to celebrate the crowning achievements of the coaches who have guided their teams to championships over the past 75 years," said Jim Haney, executive director of the NABC. "This collection of artwork will serve as a unique and permanent reminder of these coaches' accomplishments on the court and their incredible contributions to the game of basketball."
"Coach Frank McGuire, Coach Dean Smith and Coach Roy Williams are among the greatest coaches and teachers in the history of college basketball," said Dan Gavitt, NCAA vice president of men's basketball. "The NCAA and University of North Carolina are eternally grateful for their impact on the lives of the student-athletes they coached and thrilled to honor their place in the tradition of March Madness with this painting."