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Great Leap Forward
Bill Syken
April 13, 2005
After a 12-year drought UNC finally muscled its way back to the top of the ACC standings
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April 13, 2005

Great Leap Forward

After a 12-year drought UNC finally muscled its way back to the top of the ACC standings

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Heel Hero
JUNIOR SEAN MAY IS ONE OF ONLY SEVEN TAR HEELS TO AVERAGE A DOUBLE DOUBLE FOR HIS CAREER, AND HIS VERSATILITY WAS ON DISPLAY AGAINST MARYLAND ON FEB. 27. MAY CONTRIBUTED 22 POINTS, 11 REBOUNDS AND BLOCKED THREE SHOTS, INCLUDING MIKE JONES'S LAYUP WITH TWO SECONDS LEFT THAT SEALED THE 85-83 WIN FOR NORTH CAROLINA.

A Hawaiian Lei Up
THE TAR HEELS WERE UPSET BY SANTA CLARA IN THEIR SEASON OPENER, BUT THINGS BEGAN TO CLICK WHEN THE TEAM HIT HAWAII FOR THE MAUI INVITATIONAL. CAROLINA ROLLED OVER BYU AND TENNESSEE TO REACH THE FINAL ON NOV. 24, IN WHICH MARVIN (24) AND JAWAD WILLIAMS HELPED SUBDUE IOWA 106-92 AS UNC TOPPED 100 POINTS FOR THE FIRST OF SIX TIMES IN 2004-05.

The Ball Stops Here
HE'S PROBABLY THE CLOSEST THING THAT I'VE HAD TO AN INDISPENSABLE PLAYER IN 17 YEARS AS A HEAD COACH," SAYS ROY WILLIAMS OF HIS JUNIOR POINT GUARD RAYMOND FELTON, WHO HAD 10 ASSISTS AND FOUR STEALS AGAINST FLORIDA STATE ON MARCH 3.

Believe the Hype
EXPECTATIONS WERE HIGH FOR MARVIN WILLIAMS, THE 6' 9" FORWARD FROM BREMERTON, WASH., WHO CAME IN AS THE NO. 1 RECRUIT IN THE NATION. WILLIAMS QUICKLY MADE AN IMPACT, ESTABLISHING HIMSELF AS THE ACC'S BEST SIXTH MAN. HE AVERAGED 11.7 POINTS AND 6.6 REBOUNDS IN 22 MINUTES PER GAME EN ROUTE TO BECOMING THE SIXTH TAR HEEL TO WIN CONFERENCE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR HONORS.

A Heel and a Hard Place
THOUGH MARVIN WILLIAMS (LEFT) AND MELVIN SCOTT APPEAR TO HAVE WAKE FOREST'S VYTAS DANELIUS PINNED IN THIS JAN. 15 GAME, THE TAR HEELS, RANKED NO. 3 AT THE TIME, WOULD HAVE THEIR 14-GAME WIN STREAK SNAPPED AT THE HANDS OF THE NO. 4-RANKED DEMON DEACONS. THE 95-82 LOSS WAS JUST ONE OF THREE ACC MATCHUPS UNC WOULD DROP ALL SEASON.

From the Field to the Floor
A TEAM CAN'T GO 33-4 WITHOUT BENCH PLAYERS LIKE DAVID NOEL (34), A FORMER WALK-ON WHO ORIGINALLY SIGNED TO PLAY WIDE RECEIVER FOR UNC. THE JUNIOR DID A LITTLE BIT OF EVERYTHING FOR THE TAR HEELS THIS YEAR, INCLUDING HITTING ALL FOUR OF HIS SHOTS, SCORING 10 POINTS AND PLAYING SOLID DEFENSE IN THIS DEC. 4 WIN OVER KENTUCKY.

Ready And Willing
SENIOR MELVIN SCOTT WAS JUST ONE OF MANY WEAPONS THE TAR HEELS HAD AVAILABLE AGAINST MARYLAND ON JAN. 8. THE RESERVE GUARD HIT TWO THREES AND SCORED NINE POINTS IN UNC'S 109-75 VICTORY. NORTH CAROLINA'S 88.4-POINTS-PER-GAME AVERAGE WAS THE BEST IN THE NATION THIS SEASON.

Inside & Out
AS THE TAR HEELS' LEADING SCORERS, SEAN MAY (LEFT) AND RASHAD MCCANTS WERE PERFECT COMPLEMENTS. MAY (16.7 PPG) WORKED HIS MAGIC DOWN LOW, WHILE MCCANTS (15.8 PPG) SPOTTED UP OR SLASHED TO THE HOOP. COMBINED WITH CAROLINA'S OTHER THREATS, OPPOSING DEFENSES HAD TO FEEL A BIT LIKE SOMEONE WHOSE BATHING SUIT HAD WASHED AWAY: UNSURE WHAT TO COVER FIRST.

Wildcats Outstretched
THE DEC. 4 GAME AGAINST NO. 8 KENTUCKY WAS CAROLINA'S FIRST TEST AGAINST A RANKED OPPONENT, AND UNC PASSED, BIG TIME. THE TAR HEELS ROLLED OUT TO A 24-6 LEAD AND NEVER TRAILED, WINNING 91-78. HERE ALL-ACC DEFENDER JACKIE MANUEL (RIGHT) AND MARVIN WILLIAMS ELEVATE FOR A REBOUND.

What a Way to Close
THE REGULAR-SEASON FINALE AGAINST DUKE WAS ANOTHER CLASSIC BATTLE. RAYMOND FELTON (LEFT) LED THE WAY AS UNC MADE UP A 73-64 DEFICIT WITH 3:07 LEFT TO PLAY. WITH THE TAR HEELS DOWN 73-72, MARVIN WILLIAMS (RIGHT) CONVERTED A THREE-POINT PLAY TO PROVIDE THE WINNING MARGIN AND CLINCH THE ACC TITLE OUTRIGHT FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE THE 1992-93 SEASON.

Momentarily Grounded
THE ACC TOURNAMENT GAVE THE TAR HEELS A BRIEF BUZZKILL AS GEORGIA TECH ELIMINATED CAROLINA 78-75 IN THE SEMIFINALS. BUT SENIOR JAWAD WILLIAMS (WITH BALL) AND NORTH CAROLINA HAD SHOWN ENOUGH DURING THE REGULAR SEASON TO STILL EARN A NO. 1 NCAA TOURNAMENT SEED.


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