2007 FAN'S GUIDE: SEMIFINAL NOTESPreviewing the championship game.
March 10, 2007
North Carolina and N.C. State have met five times previously in the finals. North Carolina holds a 3-2 edge, winning in 1968 as the top seed, in 1975 as the second seed, and in 1997 as the third seed. N.C. State won in 1959 as the No.1 seed and in 1987 as the sixth seed.
North Carolina most recently won an ACC Tournament in 1998. N.C. State most recently won an ACC title in 1987.
Since N.C. State upset UNC to win the 1987 tournament championship under head coach Jim Valvano, the Wolfpack has played for the title three times without a win (1997, 2002, 2003), while the Tar Heels have competed for the title 11 times, winning in 1989, 1991, 1994, 1997 and 1998.
This will be the first ACC Tournament championship game in which the coaches are both alumni of the schools they direct. Sidney Lowe played at N.C. State from 1980-83, and Roy Williams attended North Carolina, played on the junior varsity, and graduated in 1972.
Sidney Lowe could become the third coach to win the ACC Tournament in his first year as a head coach. Duke's Vic Bubas, an N.C. State alumnus, won in 1960 and UNC's Bill Guthridge won in 1998.
ACC Tournament finals have not been kind to the top seed since 1980, when Georgia Tech joined the league. During that span No.1 has reached the championship game 17 times and posted a 8-9 mark. North Carolina has done especially poorly under such circumstances. The Heels are 1-4 playing for the title as the top seed, losing in 1987, 1988, 1993 and 2001. Their sole victory as the top seed came in 1982, when they won both the ACC and NCAA titles. Duke won the ACC Tournament last year as the No.1 seed.
North Carolina and N.C. State have met four times previously in the ACC Tournament at venues outside the state of North Carolina. They played twice in Atlanta, in 1983 and 1985. The Wolfpack won in '83 en route to the title, the Heels won in 1985. The schools also played twice in Landover, Md., in 1981, when UNC won on its way to the championship, and in the 1987 title game.
Teams from the state of North Carolina have now met 29 times in 54 years for the ACC championship. Such matchups occurred 13 times in the league's first 16 years of existence, and 12 times in the 20 years since UNC and N.C. State met in 1987.
N.C. State has been in three of the last six finals - 2002, 2003 and 2007. During that span, UNC did not reach the finals. The Wolfpack lost to Duke in '02 and '03.