UNC’s ascent to the 1982 NCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship included a confrontation with Villanova in the East Region Final won by the Tar Heels, 70 to 60. In 1991 the two universities squared off again in the East Region bracket, an 84 to 69 UNC win in the second round, played in the Carrier Dome at Syracuse, New York. On the sidelines of those two respective games were assistant coaches who will find themselves as helmsmen during tonight’s contest for the 2016 national championship in Houston: UNC’s Roy Williams seen above as assistant to Dean Smith in 1982, and Jay Wright, seen below, as assistant to Rollie Massimino in 1991. (A similar photograph by Morton can be seen in the online collection.)
In between those two face-offs was Villanova’s victory over UNC for the 1985 Mideast Region Final, won by Villanova 65 to 44, on the Wildcats way to winning the national championship. At that time Wright was coaching in Division III at the University of Rochester, and Williams was still the assistant coach at UNC. Hugh Morton photographed that game but only a shot from the UNC locker is in the online collection.
Back in 2009 Jack Hilliard wrote a post titled “UNC vs. Villanova: 1982 and 1985.” when these school faced each other during the opening round of “Final Four” play. UNC won handily, 83 to 69. Those who prefer the lighter shade of blue will be rooting for another Tar Heel title tonight.