UNC Tar Heels Men’s Basketball Team of the Last Decade

UNC Tar Heels Men’s Basketball Team of the Last Decade
Fact Checked by Nate Hamilton

Few programs can match the success of the University of North Carolina in college basketball over the years.

The Tar Heels have amassed 2,372 wins, the third most among Division I schools. Their 53 NCAA Tournament bids rank second. With 21 Final Four appearances, no school has been there as often as UNC, and it’s tied with UConn for the third-most championships with six.

With the 2024 college basketball now complete, BetCarolina.com – your source for the latest North Carolina sports betting news and app reviews – wanted to take a look back at the last 10 years and determine the “Team of the Last Decade” for UNC. We relied on Sports-Reference.com to determine the starting five from players who wore Carolina blue between the 2014-15 and 2023-24 seasons. It is based on the combination of Player Efficiency Rating (PER) and Win Shares (WS) during those years with the team.

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UNC Men’s Basketball Team of Last Decade

It would have been ideal if North Carolina sports betting apps were legal during these great UNC players' careers. Here is our UNC Men's Basketball Team of the last decade (2014-2024). 

Position Player Years With Team During Decade Combined PER & WS
Guard Joel Berry II2014-201834.1
Guard RJ Davis2020-202435.3
Foward Justin Jackson2014-201733.7
ForwardBrice Johnson2014-201641.3
Center Armando Bacot2019-202450.6

Bacot, Davis Dominant In Recent Years

As one might expect with a blue blood program, the starting five come from across the decade rather than just a section of it. Two players, in fact, played on this year’s squad that made it to the Sweet 16 before losing to Alabama.

Bacot, a 6-10 center, was a five-year starter for the Tar Heels and averaged 13.9 points and 10.1 rebounds over 169 games. Four times, he finished as an All-ACC member and was on the 2022 NCAA All-Tourney team after leading UNC to the NCAA final. He holds the school record with 1,715 rebounds, and his 2,348 points rank second all-time among Tar Heels greats.

Having exhausted his eligibility, Bacot will now focus on a pro career. Current forecasts predict him to be, at best, a second-round selection in June’s NBA Draft.

Davis, a full-time starter the past three seasons, has averaged 15.1 points per game over his four years at Chapel Hill. This past season, he won the ACC Player of the Year Award after leading the Tar Heels with a 21.2 scoring average. He was also a first-team consensus All-American.

Davis could return and use his COVID year for a fifth and final season at UNC. If that were to happen, he could possibly break Tyler Hansbrough’s all-time scoring mark of 2,872 points. Davis has 2,088 and scored 784 this past season.

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Core From Early Years

The other three players in the starting lineup each were part of the 2016 squad that lost the NCAA championship to Villanova. A pair of them returned to lead the Heels to their sixth title the following year.

Berry, who played four seasons at UNC, averaged 12.6 points and more than three assists a game. The 6-0 guard was also a two-time all-conference performer and won the Most Outstanding Player award in the 2017 Final Four. After retiring from professional ball in 2021, Berry has since served as a commentator for the ACC Network.

Jackson started three seasons for UNC and was a consensus All-American and ACC Player of the Year in his final year when he averaged 18.3 points per game in leading the Tar Heels to the title. For his career, the 6-8 forward scored 1,626 points and shot nearly 46% from the floor.

He’s played in six seasons in the NBA, mainly as a reserve. Jackson has played in two games for the Minnesota Timberwolves this season, but he’s found a spot with the Texas Legends, scoring 19.6 points per game for the G-League squad.

Johnson started his final two years with the Tar Heels, which coincided with the start of our 10-year window. The 6-9 power forward connected on better than 59% of his shots and averaged 15 points and 9.1 rebounds in those two seasons and was a consensus All-American his senior year.

A former first-round pick of the Los Angeles Clippers in 2016, he currently plays pro ball in Japan.

Stay with BetCarolina.com as we continue our coverage of UNC and all things North Carolina. Now that sports betting is legal in the Tar Heel State, check out our best North Carolina sportsbook promos

USA Today photo by Kirby Lee.

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UNC Expected To Contend For Seventh Title In 2025

While UNC fell short of its title hopes this past season, coach Hubert Davis could have a top team in the nation depending on how a few things shake out. The Tar Heels are expected to welcome a highly ranked freshman class, but if they were to keep Davis in the fold, along with Harrison Ingram and Elliot Cadeau, they could be the No. 1 team in preseason polls this fall.

Oddsmakers at FanDuel list UNC as their co-fourth-choice with Alabama on the futures board, giving the Heels odds of +1600.



Steve Bittenbender
Sports Betting Expert & Insider

As a writer and analyst for BetCarolina.com, Steve not only covers gaming news and developments in North Carolina but also provides insights into what they mean for bettors, licensed operators and the state. A veteran journalist with 25 years of experience covering sports, politics and business, Steve has reported on the gambling industry intently over the past five years.

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