What If: 2011-12 vs. 1976-77

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Maybe we should call this one the 'injury game.' Today's What If Tournament matchup pits two teams whose tournament runs were hampered by hobbled players. You know about the 7th-seeded 2011-12 team. Leslie McDonald and Dexter Strickland went down with ACL tears. John Henson and Kendall Marshall suffered wrist injuries (and in Marshall's case, a fractured elbow as well). The 10th-seeded 1976-77 Tar Heels lost to Marquette in the national championship game. That team suffered their own maladies: Tom Lagarde (knee), Walter Davis (finger) and Phil Ford (back) yet made a valiant run.

This is the What If Tournament, so everybody's healthy, and Ed Davis is a senior Tar Heel. Injured or 'What if' players are highlighted. Who gets your vote?

2011-12 What If Tar Heels

Coach: Roy Williams

Strengths: Depth (McD, Henson, JMM, Bullock all on bench)

Weaknesses: Outside shooting

Will win the tournament if: Barnes and Hairston can make shots from perimeter

Will lose in first round if: Marshall fractures his scaphoid bone

Captains: Davis/Zeller

This team in one word: Unselfish

1976-77 What If Tar Heels

Coach: Dean Smith

Strengths: Great leaders in Ford and Davis

Weaknesses: Size (O'Koren at PF)

Will win the tournament if: Ford and Davis shine, young forwards Wolf and Yonakor help bolster small starting front line

Will lose in first round if: O'Koren's lasck of size and experience get exposed, teams key on backcourt

Captains: Ford/Davis/LaGarde

This team in one word: Leadership


  1. Mikey in DFW's avatar
    Mikey in DFW
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    Who guards Ford?

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