March Memories: Vince Carter
In three seasons at North Carolina (two under legendary head coach Dean Smith), Carter made it to two Final Fours (1997, 1998) and averaged 15.6 points per game in his final season as a junior. In a 1998 national semifinal loss to Utah, Carter scored 21 points on 10-of-16 shooting from the field. During the 1998 NCAA Tournament, Carter averaged 18.2 points per game.
What is your most memorable NCAA moment?
Of course making it to the Final Four back-to-back years. We lost both of them, but it’s memorable in itself just to make it into the Final Four. It’s tough doing it one time, but we were able to do it back-to-back years.
What was it like to go to two Final Fours and back to back for that matter?
It’s just an honor. We had a very good team. We were very capable. We were actually picked to win the second time going back so like I said, it was tough going the first time, and the pressure of pretty much being named the champions and getting back to the Final Four was a lot of pressure but it brought our team together. It meant a lot, and it was one of the best times of the year. It was March Madness. What it was all about was just getting back there.
Do you still follow along?
Of course. I watch college basketball in general, but I definitely watch the ACC and watch my Tar Heels all the time.
How do you like North Carolina’s chances this year?
I think they have a great chance. They’re peaking at the right time. This is the best time leading up into the tournament. The ACC tournament is where you want to start peaking. I think they’ve established themselves as a one seed. It’s all about luck and a little opportunity, but I think if they just stay disciplined and be who they are, they should be ok.
What was it like playing for Dean Smith?
It was great. It was an experience like no other. His knowledge of the game, his preparation. The way he prepared us, and his love for the game and how he taught us how he played the game. You don’t realize it as you go through it. It’s kind of like with our parents, they give you all the chores and all the different things to do, and you’re just like ‘What’s the point?’ But when you move on and grow up, you’re like ‘I get it now.’ He’s taught us some awesome things that still stick with me today on and off the court that has helped me stick around and just be the person I am today.