Local News

UNC fans welcome Tar Heels back to Chapel Hill

Posted April 5, 2016 1:11 a.m. EDT
Updated April 5, 2016 5:24 p.m. EDT

— The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill hosted a welcome home celebration Tuesday afternoon for the men's basketball team.

The Tar Heels (33-7) fell one shot short of a sixth NCAA title Monday night when Villanova's Kris Jenkins sank a buzzer beater.

The team arrived at Raleigh-Durham International Airport around 2 p.m. and made their way to campus, where fans greeted them outside the Dean E. Smith Center around 3 p.m.

Head coach Roy Williams and seniors Brice Johnson and Marcus Paige addressed the crowd before heading inside the Dean Dome Tuesday afternoon.

"It was great. I'm glad this is such a great turnout," said Nathan Watson. "I'm glad they could see how much we love them. It looks like they were appreciative, too."

Williams told the crowd that the previous five weeks battling through the NCAA tournament were the must fun he's had as a college basketball coach.

"I think this might be my favorite team of all time," Watson said. "I just had to be here to show them how much they mean to me."

Maggie McKinney, a senior at UNC, was one of thousands of Tar Heel fans that welcomed their team home despite a gut wrenching loss.

"You have to be a dedicated fan, win or lose," she said. "You have to be here supporting them. Since it’s my last year, I just wanted to be here and welcome them back."