North Carolina’s 2009 Championship Team Today

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Tar Heels' 2009 Championship Team Today


Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

As everyone can see, this year is not a very good one for the North Carolina Tar Heels. Instead of going off about how they are struggling and what they need to do to even be relevant in March, let us look back at a team that conquered March. The 2009 national championship team was one of the greatest teams in Tar Heel basketball history. In the final game, they defeated a tough Michigan State team 89-72, further showing just how dominant they were throughout the season.

The team as a whole was filled with superstars. Of course, everyone remembers Tyler Hansbrough and Ty Lawson, one of the greatest guard-forward combinations in college basketball history. Along with those two, big men Ed Davis and Tyler Zeller helped lead the charge in the frontcourt. This year's Tar Heels team lacks any type of shooting game, but in 2009, Danny Green and Wayne Ellington were among the best shooters in the country. These players are all missed tremendously by Tar Heel country, and who knows whether or not they will have a better team in the near the future.

The 2009 team went an astounding 33-4 on the season, and although they did not win the ACC tournament, they won the ACC regular season crown. Of course, winning the national championship was a much larger, and more important feat. The Tar Heels were a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament, and won every single game by more than 10 points. They were by far the best team in the country that year, and one of the best all time.

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6. Ed Davis


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Ed Davis was a bench player in 2009, but an important one at that. In the national championship game, Davis scored 11 points off the bench, and also grabbed eight boards. He was a great fill in for Hansbrough and really made a name for himself the following season.

Davis was drafted No. 13 overall in the first round by the Toronto Raptors in 2010, but currently plays for the Memphis Grizzlies. He averages 7.5 points per game, but will always be remembered as one of North Carolina's assets to the the championship team.

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5. Danny Green


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Danny Green was one of the best shooters that the Tar Heels had in 2009. He averaged about 13 points on the season, and whether he started or came off the bench as the sixth man, he made a huge impact in each and every game. Although he only had six points in the championship game, Green remained a threat on both ends of the court.

Green was drafted in the second round by the Cleveland Cavaliers, but currently plays for the San Antonio Spurs. He was a dominant force in last year's NBA playoffs, and still continues to improve his already outstanding shooting ability.

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4. Wayne Ellington


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One cannot mention prolific shooters from the 2009 championship team without mentioning Wayne Ellington. The guard was lights out from beyond the arc, and just about every other spot on the court. He put up 19 points in the championship game, and was 3-3 from three-point range.

Ellington was drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the first round of the 2009 NBA Draft, but currently plays for the Dallas Mavericks.

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3. Tyler Zeller


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Tyler Zeller was pretty much invisible during the 2009 season considering he was only a freshman and had to play behind Tar Heel great Tyler Hansbrough. He only had one point in the championship game, and also only played one minute. Even though he was not much of a factor in 09', Zeller went on to be one of the Tar Heels' star players in his other season.

Zeller was drafted in the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft by the Dallas Mavericks, but currently plays for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

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2. Tyler Hansbrough


Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

I can go on forever about Tyler Hansbrough, or as Tar Heel fans know him, Psycho-T. He was one of the best forwards in Tar Heel basketball history, not just for his skills, but for his all around attitude on the court. He was one of the most physical players on the roster, and was one of the leaders on the championship team. With 18 points in the championship game, he ended his career in Tar Heel blue with a bang.

Hansbrough was drafted in the first round by the Indiana Pacers in the 2009 draft, but currently plays for the Toronto Raptors.

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1. Ty Lawson


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Ty Lawson was the sole reason that the Tar Heels had such an outstanding transition game. The speedy point guard could do it all. If you needed him to shoot a three, he could make it, and if you needed him to drive the lane for an easy two points, he could do it without any trouble. He is arguably one of the best point guards in Tar Heel basketball history, and he led the team in scoring in the championship game with 21 points.

Lawson was drafted in the first round of the 2009 draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves, but currently plays for the Denver Nuggets. This season, he is averaging about 18 points per game, and continues to be one of the best point guards in the league.





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