North Carolina men’s basketball will face Miami on Saturday in a game that could have major implications in the ACC. Even as a college basketball analyst, former Tar Heels center Brendan Haywood will be watching and rooting for North Carolina, but he also can’t help but recall the history he made against Miami 18 years ago.
During his senior year in the 2000-01 season, Haywood recorded the first triple-double in North Carolina men’s basketball history.
Adding even more mystic to the milestone, he impressively did it with blocks as one of the three categories. Haywood recorded 18 points, 14 rebounds and 10 blocks, which was then a program record for a single game.
“It’s a great accomplishment. So many great guys have played at UNC and for me to have the first triple-double was huge,” Haywood said this week. “I do think about that a lot when they play Miami.”
At the time, the Tar Heels and Hurricanes didn’t play annually because Miami was still in the Big East conference. But the two programs played again during the non-conference schedule in 2003-04, and Miami joined the ACC the following season. That gives the former center the chance to reflect on his triple-double every year.
Haywood still has just one of two recorded triple-doubles in program history. Ironically, his teammate, Jason Capel posted the other triple-double for North Carolina against Buffalo 10 days after Haywood did.
Those are the only two official triple-doubles for the Tar Heels men’s basketball team, but the triple-double didn’t become a popular stat until about 30 years ago. There are reports Billy Cunningham may have had a triple-double in the early 60’s, but he was not included on the official ACC triple-double list released from The News & Observer last year.
Regardless, Haywood’s accomplishment will live on forever, and it’s something every Tar Heels fan should reflect upon ahead of playing the Hurricanes every season.
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