Start the Madness!

In honor of the beginning of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament (in which UNC is the #1 overall seed, by the way), and since I’m just starting to sort through Morton’s basketball negatives, I thought I’d quickly share a few highlights from UNC basketball glories past.

The first image is from the 1946 tournament, which marked UNC’s first appearance in the title game, played at Madison Square Garden against Oklahoma A&M. Sadly, UNC lost to Oklahoma 43-40.

1946 NCAA Championship Game, Madison Square Garden

UNC’s first title win came in 1957, and while I’m fairly certain Hugh Morton would have photographed the tournament, I haven’t yet found the negatives to prove it. There are, however, some shots of the 1957 championship team in the library’s UNC Photo Lab Collection.

And then, of course, there’s the famous 1982 tournament, when a UNC team containing such legendary members as James Worthy (below, right), and a young Michael Jordan (center) defeated the Georgetown Hoyas, led by Patrick Ewing. (I scanned this image from a print, since I haven’t yet found the negative). Morton photographed this tournament heavily, collaborating with David Daly on the 1991 book, One to Remember: The 1982 North Carolina Tar Heels NCAA Championship Team, Then and Now.

1982 UNC Men’s Basketball NCAA Championship Team

Also legendary was the team’s coach from 1961 to 1997, Dean Smith, seen below on the sidelines during the 1982 tournament. Smith and Morton were close friends, and Morton provided many of the photos for Smith’s 2002 memoir, A Coach’s Life. The Morton collection contains hundreds of images of Smith, not only at games and press conferences but also playing golf, hanging out with bears at Grandfather, etc.

UNC Coach Dean Smith on the sidelines during the 1982 NCAA Tournament

Hopefully, in a few short weeks, we’ll have some new, triumphant memories to add to this list . . .

2 thoughts on “Start the Madness!

  1. The Tarheels plays their best when they come together as a team. To be successful the team has to be on the same page mentally to be that team to win the championship and have more memorys like these. Go Tarheels!!

  2. With UNC’s basketball teams off to a winning start for the 2008-2009 season, I thought I would revisit the post from March 20, 2008 and add a little additional information.

    Image #1 was taken on March 26, 1946 at the old Madison Square Garden. 18,479 fans saw Carolina take on Oklahoma A&M in the NCAA basketball title game. As you say Elizabeth, sadly UNC lost that night 43 to 40. The picture shows A&M’s 7 foot All America Bob Kurland (#90) with the ball. He scored 23 points to lead all scorers. The arms and legs you see behind him belong to UNC’s Bones McKinney. The Aggies Sam Aubrey is #85. For Carolina in the center is Bob Paxton #4, and UNC’s leading scorer John (Hook) Dillon is #13 on the right. This picture was featured on the sports page of the “Greensboro Daily News” issue of March 29, 1946. There are two additional Morton pictures from that night in the 2003 book, “Hugh Morton’s North Carolina.” Those shots are on pages 170 and 171.

    In image #3, the Assistant Coach on the bench in the right frame is Bill Guthridge and the trainer behind Coach Smith in the left center frame is Marc Davis.

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