Tar Heels Reach Final Four Again, Well Sort Of

Sure, North Carolina winning the NCAA men's basketball championship last year was impressive. But this year the Tar Heels have a chance to really make history.

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The Tar Heels (19-16) are two wins away from becoming the first team to win the NCAA and NIT championships in back-to-back seasons. North Carolina advanced to the semifinals of the Ugly Step Child of post-season basketball tournaments thanks to a 65-60 victory over Alabama-Birmingham Tuesday night.

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According to the NIT's Official Web Site, several teams have advanced to Final Four of both tournaments in consecutive seasons. The closest a team came to winning both was Kentucky (second in NIT, first in NCAA) in 1947-48. Incidently, North Carolina won the NIT in 1971 and finished third in the NCAA tournament the following year.

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There was a time when the NIT, which started in 1938 and is one year older than March Madness, was the big prize in college basketball. But times have definitely changed and I'm not sure North Carolina fans will be flooding Franklin Street to celebrate this time around.

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