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Tar Heels, Jayhawks Enter NCAA Title Tilt With Common Roots

Apr 4, 2022, 8:47 AM
17 Mar 1996: Head coach Dean Smith of the North Carolina Tar Heels looks on during a NCAA Tournamen...
17 Mar 1996: Head coach Dean Smith of the North Carolina Tar Heels looks on during a NCAA Tournament game against the Texas Tech Red Raiders at the Richmond Coliseum in Richmond, Virginia. Texas Tech won the game 92-73. Mandatory Credit: Doug Pensinger /Allsport

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — There are strong connections between North Carolina and Kansas.

The storied programs heading into Monday night’s NCAA men’s championship game in New Orleans share stories and ties to some of the giants of the sport.

The connections include late North Carolina Hall of Fame coach Dean Smith being a Kansas alumnus. Smith played for the Jayhawks under Phog Allen, who had learned the game from basketball inventor Dr. James Naismith.

There is also Hall of Fame coach Roy Williams, who spent 33 years between the two schools as head coach. Tar Heels first-year coach Hubert Davis says he still remembers the pain of losing to Williams’ Kansas team in the 1991 Final Four as a guard on that North Carolina squad.

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Tar Heels, Jayhawks Enter NCAA Title Tilt With Common Roots