Jordan, Worthy, and Perkins against the Running Rebels of Jerry Tarkanian! This is an epic matchup that is almost sure to go down to the wire. Let us take a quick look at the starting lineups?
1982 North Carolina Tar Heels
G – Michael Jordan
G – Jimmy Black
F – James Worthy
F – Matt Doherty
C – Sam Perkins
1990 UNLV Running Rebels
G – Anderson Hunt
G – Greg Anthony
F – Larry Johnson
F – Stacey Augmon
C – David Butler
Both of these teams’ defenses are generally a little underrated and those defenses have a lot to do with why points are hard to come by in the first ten minutes of this game. James Worthy and Larry Johnson do most of the early damage, but after that time the game is tied at just 10. The rest of the first half seems more like a feeling-out process until the final minute when James Worthy drives to the hole on back to back possessions to give the Tar Heels a 30-26 halftime lead.
The second half seems to be more of the shootout that everybody expected and the Rebels jump into a quick lead behind Larry Johnson and Stacey Augmon, who both hit a couple of quick shots as the Rebels go on an 8-0 run to grab a 34-30 lead. Michael Jordan responds with a three-point field goal to stem the tide. The game turns into a back and forth affair with multiple lead changes until the 5-minute mark when a Jimmy Black three-point shot puts the Heels up by 4.
The Heels extend the lead on a baseline jumper by Matt Doherty. At this juncture it looks like they are about to put the game away, but an errant pass from Michael Jordan finds it’s way into Greg Anthony’s hands and ends up a few seconds later as an alley-oop dunk by Johnson. This reduces the deficit to just 4 points with a little over 3 minutes left. The Rebels begin trying to press the Heels but to no avail, as Black and Jordan cut through the vaunted Rebels defense on back to back occasions, extending the Heels lead to 60-52 at the 2-minute mark. Greg Anthony answers with a three-point shot to give the Rebels some hope and a steal by Anderson Hunt and a layup by David Butler made it 60-57 with a little over a minute left in the game.
With a 30-second shot clock the Rebels need a stop. They seem to have it as a 10-foot jumper from Jordan clangs off the rim, but James Worthy slashes through the lane, grabbing the ball and laying it in. With 25 seconds left the Heels lead 62-57. The Rebels hurriedly race down the court and with 15 seconds left Greg Anthony swishes a three-point shot cutting the lead to 62-60. The Heels inbound the ball to Jimmy Black who is immediately fouled, Black steps calmly to the line and sinks the first free throw. The second rims out and the Rebels have a life as Anderson Hunt races down the court he finds an open Anthony on the left-wing for an open three that banks in to tie the game at 63 with 5.7 seconds left in the game!
After a timeout the Tar Heels inbound the ball to Black, who races up the court. He dishes the ball to James Worthy who is on the right-wing, Worthy dribbles once and launches a 12-footer that swishes the bottom of the net as time expires and the Tar Heels win 66-63 to advance to the Ultimate Final Four!