In an article that I would call, “Three great moments in NC State-UNC history”, Tar Heel Monthly’s Adam Lucas took time to focus on his opinion of UNC’s three worst losses to NC State in the last 25 years. The article is linked here and includes some videos of the the three games – 1986, 2008 and 2010.
Let’s just get the bad stuff out of the way while we’re all still salty from the weekend disappointment, shall we? This week on the site, we wanted to rank the top three and bottom three games against NC State from the last quarter-century. Originally, I was going to do the top three first. But, given the last 72 hours, let’s just go ahead and deal with the misery first. [snip]
The worst three losses to NC State. Now, let me admit up front that I did not see the 2008 or 2010 games in person due to basketball travel. In 2008, we were in Maui. It was SLIGHTLY better than sitting in Kenan Stadium watching State win 41-10. In 2010, we were in Puerto Rico, and while we had a great crew to watch the game with, I would rather buy a vacation home in Afghanistan than go back to Puerto Rico ever again. So that takes two of the most painful State losses of the past 25 years off the table. Unfortunately, there were others to choose from. I only considered the games in this series that I have seen in person, which means all of them since 1986 except for the above two. The alternate title for this story was “Three days when I didn’t talk to anyone for hours after the game was over.”
As State fans, I guess we could view Lucas’ list from the opposite perspective — three of the best games of the last 25 years. Of course, our own LRM has already done a FANTASTIC piece that you MUST READ regarding “The Last Five” that is linked here.
First, 1986 is unarguable. That game will forever go down in the annals as one of the best – if not the best – State-Carolina game of all time. It had EVERYTHING, including State’s new Head Coach, Dick Sheridan, riding into town as a savior to stop
1990’s game was about as boring as they come. But, it doesn’t get more joyous for one side and painful for the other for a field goal kicker to win the game on a last second field goal that set the ALL-TIME ACC RECORD at 56 yards.
What I found most interesting about the article was that Lucas did not give into temptation to choose the 2008 and 2010 games in his list of three worst losses because he did not attend the games in person. I think that that was a VERY smart move for him. Had Lucas chosen those 2008 or 2010 as the worst losses he would have totally been wasting his selection.
You see, even if Carolina had ‘won’ those two particular games at the time they were contested, the Tar heels would have ultimately been forced to forfeit/vacate the result. Whether he realized it or not, it was a very smart decision to keep the 2008 and 2010 games off the list because Carolina would’ve never been able to ‘win’ those games because of taking the field with multiple players who were (1) receiving illegal benefits from agents, and (2) receiving illegal benefits from alums, and (3) were academically ineligible due to massive academic fraud,
How painful can it REALLY be to lose a game that you were never eligible to win in the first place?