UNC, Last of The "Phat 5" Programs Still Dancing
The University of N. Carolina are one of the 5 winningest college basketball programs of all-time. The other four that make up The "Phat 5" are Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, and UCLA. The "Phat 5" is the pop-culture nickname given to these powerhouse programs during the turn of the millenium in year 2000.
This is a total 365 degree turn from last-season when 3 "Phat 5" programs made it to the Final Four Kansas, UNC, and UCLA. The 2008 Final Four featured all #1 seeds (Memphis) for the first time ever in NCAA Tournament history. It was the first time since 1993 (UNC, Kansas, Kentucky) that 3 "Phat 5" programs advanced to the Final Four. There has never been a Final Four with 4 "Phat 5" programs. N. Carolina is joined in the Elite 8 with 4 impressive Big East teams Connecticut, Louisville, Pittsburgh, and Villanova. To make it back-to-back "Phat 5" Championships the Tar Heels must face the best of the Big East. Kansas won the 2008 NCAA Championship last year beating the Memphis Tigers 75-68 in an overtime thriller. It's been a very tough season for the #1 rated "Phat 5" program Kentucky. The Wildcats fired coach Billy Gillispie yesterday after only 2 seasons in Lexington. Kentucky finished the 2008-09 campaign with a 22-14 record missing the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1991. Kentucky hasn't been to the Final Four since 1998 when they won the NCAA title under first year coach Tubby Smith. The Duke Blue Devils made it to the Sweet 16 this post-season, but was routed by Villanova 77-54. Duke finished the season 30-7 and by most basketball analyst they over-achieved this season. Kansas the defending 2008 NCAA Champion flew under the radar this season as key members of the team moved on to the NBA (B. Rush, M. Chalmers). The Jayhawks made another trip to the Sweet 16 and ran into the Michigan State Spartans and lost the game down the stretch last night 67-62. Kansas finished the 2008-09 season 27-8. UCLA had advanced to 3 straight Final Four's from 2006-08. The 2008-09 season was a little disappointing for the Bruins. UCLA lost to Villanova in second-round of the this years NCAA Tournament 89-69. The Bruins have the most NCAA Championships than any other of the "Phat 5" programs (11). The Bruins have a strong recruiting class for the 2009-10 season. They finished this 08-09 season 26-9. The UNC Tarheels are the last of The "Phat 5" programs still dancing. Carolina will face the Oklahoma Sooners Sunday for the right to advance to their 18th Final Four. The Sooners are led by former Duke player Jeff Capel who is their current head coach. Sooners star forward Blake Griffin is the favorite to be named College Basketball Player of the Year. He also is projected to be the 1st pick of this year's NBA Draft. The N. Carolina Tarheels are not only carrying the pride of Chapel Hill thay are also carrying the torch of The "Phat 5." The "Phat 5" Final Four Appearances: UCLA-17 (1980 Final Four and National Championship removed) UNC-17 (Would be the the 1st "Phat 5" with 18 ) Duke-14 Kansas-13 Kentucky-13 (UK has the longest drought of any of The "Phat 5" 11-years) The "Phat 5" celebrated 500-years of combined play during the 2006-07 season.