Team Returns to Cheering Fans

- Inside Carolina
Posted Mar 27, 2005


CHAPEL HILL, N.C.--Roy Williams and the North Carolina basketball team returned to the Dean Smith Center Sunday night around 9:40 p.m. to an estimated crowd of between 3,000 and 4,000 cheering Tar Heel fans.

The sentiment of the team was one of appreciation towards the fans. One by one, the players expressed their thanks.

"It was a fantastic two games for us in Syracuse," Roy Williams said. "We had some great fans there that really cheered us on, and we also knew that we'd have you waiting for us here at home -- our tremendous fans. We were undefeated here in the Smith Center this season and that was because of you."

"What can I say?" Raymond Felton asked, holding up his Final Four hat. "Look at it."

The mood surrounding the team was one of happiness without being satisfied. It's been a tough road to this point, but the goal is not yet accomplished.

Rashad McCants took the microphone with one of the Final Four nets draped around his neck and hung it from the mic stand to a standing ovation.

"That looks really good, doesn't it," he said to a round of cheers. "…We know for many years that we'll be able to look up there [in the rafters] and see that we are a part of history. (Pauses for applause) But we have important games left, and they are going to be the hardest games of our lifetimes.

"But we have the toughest soldiers up here. And we have the smartest generals, and colonels, and sergeants… We aren't going to let you down… We are going to bring one of those back home." (pointing to the 1982 national championship banner.

Roy Williams is giving the team the day off on Monday before they begin preparation for their pursuit of the national championship next weekend.


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