CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) – It’s not the outcome UNC students and fans wanted. Wisconsin beat the Tar Heels, 85-62, in the NCAA Tournament first-round matchup.
“I’m really disappointed, but I’m not surprised. I feel like our team was really motivated to do what they could do to respond to how last year ended,” said lifelong UNC fan Anthony Parrish.
The loss is only the fourth time in program history and the first time since 1999 the Tar Heels have been knocked out in the first round. It was also the first time UNC lost in the first round under Roy Williams.
“We really didn’t expect us to go too far, but getting past the first round might have been nice,” said UNC student Ava Yurko.
Despite losing to Wisconsin, Franklin Street in Chapel Hill looked much different than a year ago.
That’s because last year there wasn’t an NCAA Tournament due to COVID-19 concerns.
This year, fans and UNC students gathered at different bars and restaurants on Franklin Street to cheer on the Tar Heels in their first-round game.
“Last year, it kind of lost that comradery kind of feeling that you get about watching the game,” said Reis Phillips.
Phillips works at Underground Printing on Franklin St. The store sells UNC apparel.
She said for stores and bars this tournament game equaled more business.
“We definitely get a lot more foot traffic when the game is on,” Phillips said. “It’s nice to see people outside getting back into the swing of things. People are still pretty good about following social distancing guidelines.”
CBS 17 spotted decent sized crowds at the bars. For the most part, masks being worn.
At the end, yes, it was a disappointment, but there was some optimism.
“We just have to stay strong for our team. Remember that we are Carolina. We are going to bounce back. We always do,” Parrish said.