UNC Gives The "Phat 5" Back-to-Back Titles, 1st Since 1995 and 96
The "Phat 5" of College Basketball Kentucky, N. Carolina, UCLA, Kansas, and Duke the 5 winningest college basketball programs of all-time. The UNC 2009 Championship and the 2008 Championship by Kansas gives The "Phat 5" its first back-to-back titles since the 1995 UCLA Bruins and 1996 Kentucky Wildcats.
P-H-A-T is an acronym that means Producing History At the Tournament.
The N. Carolina Tar Heels (34-4) entered tonight's game against the Michigan St. Spartans (31-7) as the heavy favorite and delivered on the hype as Goliath. The Heels were also looking for their 5th NCAA Championship tying the Indiana Hoosiers for 3rd place on the all-time list (11-UCLA, 7-Kentucky).
The game was played in front of a NCAA Championship game record of 72,922 fans at Ford Field in Detroit. Carolina jumped on MSU early and rolled to a 89-72 win. Michigan St. won their first National Championship 30-years ago when Magic Johnson was a 19-year old sophomore and his Spartans defeated Larry Bird and the Indiana St. Sycamores 75-64. Bird and Magic presented the game ball to center court before the start of the game to honor the 30th Anniversary of their historic matchup.
The record to see an American basketball game was on December 13, 2003 when Michigan State lost to Kentucky 79-74 in front of 78,129 fans at the same Ford Field. Kentucky like UNC is one of The "Phat 5".
Carolina sprinted out to 22-7 lead within the first 5 minutes of the contest and never let the Spartans get any closer than 13-points for the remainder of the game. UNC led 55-34 at the halftime. The 21-point deficit is the largest in NCAA Championship history. The 55-points is also an NCAA record eclipsing the 2003 National Champion Syracuse Orangemen who scored 53-points in the first half vs. the Kansas Jayhawks who were coached by current UNC coach Roy Williams. This was the Tar Heels game from the opening tip to the "One Shining Moment" tribute played by CBS to end the telecast.
The Heels were led by Ty Lawson who scored 21 points, dissed out 6 assists, and had an NCAA Final Four record 8 steals. Wayne Ellington the 2009 Final Four MOP scored 19, and Tyler Hansbrough poured in another 18. Goran Suton led Michigan State with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Michigan State is 0-5 vs. UNC in NCAA Tournament games.
With the addition of John Calipari as the new coach at Kentucky The "Phat 5" maybe on a another roll like the 1990's when they won 6 National titles (1991, 92, 93, 95, 96, and 98) and at least one "Phat 5" program appeared in every National Championship game during the decade.
1990's National Championship Games for The "Phat 5" of College Basketball:
1990- UNLV 103 - Duke 73 (largest defeat in NCAA Championship history)
1991- Duke 72 - Kansas 65 (only matchup during the 1990's of two "Phat 5" teams)
1992- Duke 71 - Michigan 51
1993- UNC 77 - Michigan 71
1994- Arkansas 76 - Duke- 72
1995- UCLA 89 - Arkansas 78
1996- Kentucky 76 - Syracuse 67
1997- Arizona 84 - Kentucky 79
1998- Kentucky 78 - Utah 69
1999- U Conn 77 - Duke 74