North Carolina began April with its men’s basketball team in the Final Four in Phoenix, where the Tar Heels won their sixth NCAA championship with a victory against Gonzaga. The month ended, on Sunday, with three ACC championships and another dramatic baseball victory.
Indeed, these are some good times for the Tar Heels. In the span of five days, they won three league championships, swept Clemson in baseball, had six players picked in the NFL draft and received a football commitment from one of the nation’s top high school prospects.
UNC on Sunday won ACC championships in men’s lacrosse (the Tar Heels defeated Notre Dame in Durham), women’s lacrosse (with a victory against Syracuse in Richmond) and women’s tennis (with a victory against Georgia Tech in Rome, Ga.).
And while all of that was happening, the UNC baseball team, which is ranked third nationally, was in the midst of completing a three-game sweep of No. 4 Clemson. The Tar Heels prevailed, in 10 innings, with a 3-2 victory against the Tigers – UNC’s third consecutive comeback victory in the series.
The baseball victory, and the three ACC championships, came during the same weekend in which six UNC players heard their names called in the NFL draft. Mitch Trubisky went second overall to the Chicago Bears, who traded up to take the former UNC quarterback.
Nazair Jones, the defensive tackle who overcame a mysterious illness that left him unable to walk in high school, went late in the third round, to the Seattle Seahawks, on Friday night. And four more UNC players – Mack Hollins, Ryan Switzer, T.J. Logan and Elijah Hood – were picked on Saturday.
UNC’s six NFL draft picks were its most since 2011, when nine UNC players were selected.
The three ACC championships that UNC won on Sunday give the Tar Heels four league championships this academic year. That puts them in the conference lead, with championships still left to be decided in baseball, softball, men’s and women’s outdoor track and field and rowing.
Duke, N.C. State and Notre Dame have all won three ACC championships in this academic year. Virginia and Virginia Tech have both won two. The Tar Heels, who have won all eight of their ACC series, will be among the favorites to win the conference baseball championship.
If the success of the weekend wasn’t enough, UNC’s good vibes continued on Monday when Payton Wilson, the Orange High School linebacker who is considered one of the best players in the country, committed to UNC. Minutes after his announcement, UNC coach Larry Fedora went to Twitter.
Fedora wrote the same two words he always writes after a high school player commits to UNC, though this time they were fitting, too, given UNC’s run – the NFL draft picks, the ACC championships, the baseball sweep: “Heel yeah!” Fedora typed before sharing his celebratory tweet.