December Tar Heel History

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December 1, 1870
Chapel Hill suffers the loss of more of its population during the Civil War than any village in the South, and when student numbers do not recover, the university is forced to close during Reconstruction from December 1, 1870 until September 6, 1875.

December 1, 1945
The Tar Heels set a UNC single-game record with 555 rushing yards in a 27-18 win against Virginia in Chapel Hill.

December 1, 1952
UNC's Frank McGuire era begins with a 70-50 win over The Citadel. McGuire would post a 164-58 record in nine seasons.

December 2, 1961
Dean Smith coaches his first game at UNC. Bryan McSweeney and Jim Hudock each score 20 and Larry Brown has 12 points and eight rebounds as Carolina beats Virginia, 80-46.

December 2, 1967
Charlie Scott, UNC's first black scholarship athlete, becomes the first African American to play on the varsity basketball team at North Carolina as the Tar Heels beat Virginia Tech 89-76 in Chapel Hill.

December 3, 1951
UNC's 100-57 win over Furman marks the first of many games in which Carolina scores 100 or more points.

December 3, 1983
Second-ranked Carolina wins at Stanford, 88-75, to give Dean Smith his 500th victory.

December 4, 1956
Lennie Rosenbluth sets UNC single-game scoring record with 47 points in season-opening win over Furman. Rosenbluth also grabbed 17 rebounds.

December 4, 1965
UNC beats William and Mary, 82-68, in the first game played at Carmichael Auditorium named for William Donald Carmichael, Jr., a popular former school vice-president and brother of All-America basketball player Cartwright Carmichael.

December 4, 1994
On December 4, 1994, UNC's Charlotte Smith became the second collegiate women's basketball player ever to dunk in a basketball game.

December 4, 2000
Brendan Haywood posts a triple-double in a 67-45 win over Miami.

December 4, 2013
Freshman Kennedy Meeks leads five Tar Heels in double-figure scoring with 15 points as Carolina wins at #1 ranked Michigan State, 79-65, The win is UNC’s 13th against teams ranked #1 in the AP poll, an NCAA record, and the fifth time the Tar Heels beat #1 on their home court.

December 5, 2015
QB Marquise Williams becomes only the fifth player in ACC history to surpass 10,000 career yards in total offense, but the #10 Tar Heels fall to the #1 Clemson Tigers 45-37 in the ACC Championship game in Charlotte.

December 5, 2021
UNC men's basketball becomes just the 3rd program in NCAA history to win 2,300 games (Kentucky, Kansas) as the Tar Heels defeat Georgia Tech 79-62 in Atlanta.

December 7, 1964
Bob Lewis and Billy Cunningham score 23 and 22 points, respectively, and Carolina beats 11th-ranked Kentucky, 82-67, in Charlotte, Dean Smith’s first win over a ranked opponent.

December 7, 2003
Raymond Felton sets a UNC record with 18 assists against George Mason.

December 9, 2006
Tyler Hansbrough scores 24 points and Carolina routs High Point, 94-69, to give Roy Williams his 500th win as a college head coach. Williams reached the mark in his 19th season, faster than any coach in history.

December 10, 1941
The Tar Heels lose to Hanes Hosiery 66-55 in UNC's first game following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941

December 10, 1964
Billy Cunningham scores 40 points and grabs 28 rebounds to lead the Tar Heels past Maryland 97-88 in Chapel Hill.

December 10, 2011
Tyler Zeller scores 17 points in UNC's 84-78 win over Long Beach State, making him the 66th Tar Heel to break the 1,000-point career mark.

December 11, 1789
On December 11, 1789, the North Carolina General Assembly passed a bill chartering the University of North Carolina. A site in rural Orange County was selected for the university in 1792. A group of Orange County farmers previously had donated funds and a parcel of 1,290 acres atop New Hope Chapel Hill.

December 12, 1953
North Carolina defeats South Carolina 82–56 to win its first ACC game in school history.

December 12, 2015
Marcus Paige makes his 234th career 3-pointer to break Shammond Williams' all-time UNC record but the Tar Heels fall 84-82 on a last-second shot against Texas in Austin.

December 12, 2020
Michael Carter (308 rushing yards) and Javonte Williams (236) combine for the most rushing yards by teammates in a game in FBS history (544) as No. 17 UNC pummels No. 10 Miami 62-26 in Miami Gardens, FL. Here are all the records and box score from the historic day.

December 13, 2014
Marcus Paige tallies 14 points to become UNC's NCAA-record 71st player to score 1,000 career points in an 84-70 loss to Kentucky in Lexington.

December 13, 2022
Armando Bacot grabs double-digit rebounds (11) for a UNC-record 62nd time, passing Billy Cunningham, as North Carolina rolls by The Citadel, 100-67, in Chapel Hill.

December 14, 1955
Lennie Rosenbluth scores 29 as 16th-ranked Carolina beats fifth-ranked Alabama, 99-77, in UNC’s first game as ranked team in AP poll.

December 14, 2018
UNC women's basketball coach Sylvia Hatchell becomes the ACC's all-time wins leader in women's basketball with an 83-62 victory over UNCG in Chapel Hill on December 14, 2018. Hatchell passes former Virginia coach Debbie Ryan with her 740th victory and is 740-314 at UNC.

December 16, 1965
Bob Lewis scores a UNC-record 49 points in a 115-80 win over Florida State. He averaged 27.4 points that year, second-best ever by a Tar Heel.

December 16, 1978
Mike O’Koren’s 18 points and six assists out-duels "Magic" Johnson’s 18 points, six assists and eight turnovers in UNC’s 70-69 win over No. 3 Michigan State. The Spartans went on to win the 1979 NCAA title.

December 17, 1962
Yogi Poteet scores 17 and Billy Cunningham grabs 17 rebounds in Dean Smith’s first of 13 wins against Kentucky (against only three losses), a 68-66 victory in Lexington.

December 17, 1976
Billy Cunningham's #32 jersey retired by the Philadelphia 76ers

December 17, 2000
Jason Capel posts a triple-double in a 95-74 win over Buffalo.

December 18, 2008
Tyler Hansbrough scores with 7:42 to play in the first half of a 91-73 win against Evansville for his 2,292nd point, breaking Phil Ford’s UNC scoring record.

December 19, 1998
UNC freshman quarterback Ronald Curry runs for a 48-yard touchdown in the first quarter and linebacker Keith Newman intercepts a pass at the goal line in the final minute as North Carolina holds on for a 20-13 victory over San Diego State in the Las Vegas Bowl.

December 19, 2011
The Tar Heels pull down 72 rebounds in a 99-49 route of Nicholls, which are the most rebounds for UNC since 1954 and the second most all time.

December 19, 2017
Sylvia Hatchell becomes the fourth member of the exclusive 1,000-victory club as the Tar Heels down Grambling State 79-63 in Myrtle Beach. Only Tennessee's Pat Summit, Stanford's Tara VanDerveer, and Duke's Mike Krzyzewski had reached 1,000 wins.

December 21, 1957
Jerry West leads eighth ranked West Virginia to 75-64 win over No. 1 Carolina in the finals of the Kentucky Invitational, ending UNC’s 37-game win streak.

December 21, 2015
Marcus Paige becomes one of 12 ACC players to total 1,500 career points, 500 assists, 150 steals and 200 3FGs. Brice Johnson makes 16 shots in a row (over a two-game span), tying the ACC and UNC record set by Brad Daugherty in 1985-86 as the Tar Heels beat Appalachian State 94-70 in Chapel Hill.

December 25, 1982
North Carolina rallies to beat Texas 26-10 on a white Christmas at a snowy Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas.

December 26, 1981
James Worthy (26), Sam Perkins (21) and Michael Jordan (19) combine for 66 points as No. 1 UNC beats No. 2 Kentucky, 82-69, in the N.J. Meadowlands. It’s the first and only time the two schools that rank 1-2 in all-time victories will play as the top two ranked teams in the AP poll.

December 27, 1985
Ranzino Smith and Kevin Madden both score 17 points to lead nine players in double figures as Carolina scores a school-record 129 points in 129-45 win over Manahattan in Miami.

December 27, 1989
King Rice (22) and Rick Fox (20) lead seven Tar Heels in double figures as UNC beats Kentucky, 121-110, in Louisville.

December 27, 2008
UNC wide receiver Hakeem Nicks sets the school record for career receptions with 181 as the Tar Heels fall to West Virginia, 31-30, at the Meineke Bowl in Charlotte, NC.

December 27, 2019
UNC sets a school record for points in a bowl game and Dazz Newsome and Dyami Brown become UNC's first single-season 1,000-yard receiving duo as UNC routs Temple 55-13 at the Military Bowl in Annapolis, Maryland (full postgame notes).

December 28, 1963
North Carolina shuts out Air Force, 35-0, at the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Florida (Video).

December 28, 1979
Led by quarterback Matt Kupec, running back Amos Lawrence, and linebacker Lawrence Taylor, North Carolina defeats Michigan 17-15 in the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Florida.

December 28, 1981
Ethan Horton and Rod Elkins cap long North Carolina drives through a dense fog with 1-yard touchdown runs in the third period, lifting the Tar Heels to a 31-27 victory over Arkansas in the Gator Bowl.

December 28, 2013
Ryan Switzer ties the NCAA single-season punt return touchdown record (5) and is named the game's MVP as the Tar Heels defeat Cincinnati 39-17 at the Belk Bowl in Charlotte, NC.

December 28, 2016
Kennedy Meeks scores 17 points and grabs 12 rebounds, becoming the 20th player in UNC history to reach 800 career rebounds as the Tar Heels beat Monmouth, coached by former UNC point guard King rice, 102-74 in Chapel Hill.

December 29, 1913
Meb Long, UNC’s first great scorer, scored 23 points in a win over the Charlotte YMCA. Long became the first Tar Heel to score 20 points in a game. Two weeks earlier, Meb and Cyrus Long became the first brothers to play basketball for UNC.

December 29, 1956
Carolina beats Wake Forest, 63-55, to win Dixie Classic for first time, one of four UNC wins that year over the Deacons (by a combined 18 points).

December 29, 1959
York Larese sets the ACC single-game free throw record in a 75-53 win over Duke by making 21 free throws.

December 29, 2015
Nick Weiler passes Don McCauley (1970) for single-season UNC scoring record with 127 points. Elijah Hood finishes the season with 1,463 yards, second all-time at UNC, but the Tar Heels fall to Baylor in the Russell Athletic Bowl in Orlando, Florida where UNC allowed a single-game and NCAA bowl record high 646 rushing yards.

December 29, 2023
R.J. Davis becomes the first player in UNC history to record at least 20 points, 10 assists, and 5 steals in a game as the Tar Heels blow out Charleston Southern 105-60.

December 30, 1972
The ACC Champion Tar Heels overcome a 21-9 deficit to beat Texas Tech 32-28 at the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas, capping an 11-1 season and finishing with a #12 national ranking.

December 30, 1995
Leon Johnson rushes for a UNC bowl record 195 yards as the Tar Heels beat Arkansas 20-10 at the Carquest Bowl in Miami, Florida.

December 30, 2010
UNC scrambles to kick a final-second game-tying field goal to end regulation in the Music City Bowl, propelling the Tar Heels to a 30-27 double overtime win over Tennessee.

December 30, 2016
Quarterback Mitch Trubisky sets UNC's single-season record for total offense with 4,056 yards and sets UNC's single-season touchdown passing record with 29. Ryan Switzer set the UNC record for career receiving yards with 2,907, but the Tar Heels fall to Stanford 25-23 at the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas.

December 30, 2019
Roy Williams ties Dean Smith for 4th all-time on the Division I men's basketball career wins list with 879 in UNC's 70-67 win over Yale in Chapel Hill.

December 31, 1980
UNC defeats Texas 16-7 at the Bluebonnet Bowl in Houston, Texas to finish the season with an 11-1 record, an ACC championship, and a top-10 national ranking (#10 AP, #9 Coaches).

December 31, 2001
Ronald Curry puts a spectacular end to his career and coach John Bunting's first season at UNC. Curry scrambles 62 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter and the Tar Heels use a smothering defense to record a 16-10 victory over Auburn in the Peach Bowl.

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