Dean Dome Rocks to Welcome Team
Posted March 8, 1998 6:00 a.m. EST
CHAPEL HILL — Their fans were excited, ecstatic, exuberant, exhilerated -- and noisy -- as the Tar Heels were welcomed back to campus after defeating Duke 83 - 68 to win the ACC title. The happy celebration took place in the Dean Dome on the UNC campus.
Both Duke and UNC received No. 1 seeds in the NCAA Tournament, for the South and East respectively. And while fans of both teams can look back on a rewarding basketball season, they know more work is ahead -- to take the national championship. And, if each win all their games on the successive rounds, they could wind up facing each other for the top title.
"The seedings just go with what people think you are," said player Brian Bersticker. "You still have to go out there and play, and show that you are the best team. So the seedings don't really matter to us (players) because we are going to go out there and play as hard as we can."
Devoted Tar Heel fans are certain their team will be in the last game of the NCAA in San Antonio.
"I really believe that this is one of the greatest Carolina teams," one fan said. "I have seen them all and I think this is one of the greatest we have ever had."
The rainy day couldn't stop an impromptu Tar Heel welcoming committee from hitting Franklin Street minutes after the victory to yell, boast to every passerby and camera that they are No. 1, jump bonfires and hurl toilet paper streamers into the air.
Also within minutes, t-shirts proclaiming UNC the ACC champs were being hawked to one and all.
The players say if they perform as well as they did today, the national championship is with in reach. When the basketball hoop is cut down, they intend for UNC hands to be wielding the scissors.
"I think our team will be there in the finals. We won't lose any more games this year," declared a confident, beaming, fan.