Item: Coming off the 2015-16 college sports season in which the ACC finished runner-up for the CFP title and NCAA Final Four crown, and following Clemson’s literally last second national football title game victory over Alabama in January, with North Carolina’s wild finish to oust Kentucky from March Madness Sunday to make a record 20th Final Four this weekend, the Tar Heels are once again carrying the conference banner eyeing a sixth national championship.
Only twice before in the 63 history of the ACC has a team from the conference won both the football and basketball national championships in the same academic sports calendar encompassing the football and basketball seasons.
The first occurrence was in 1981-82 when Clemson won its other football national title defeating Nebraska in the Orange Bowl, followed by North Carolina winning Dean Smith’s first championship defeating Georgetown at New Orleans.
A decade later Georgia Tech was co-national champions in football (with Colorado) for the 1990 season, while a couple of months later Duke won the first of its five national championships under Mike Krzyzewski by beating Kansas-coached Roy Williams.
This weekend the Williams-coached Tar Heels will be determined to take their season one more step from last year’s Final Four semi-final win over Syracuse and the last second loss to Villanova in the memorable championship game. UNC will first have to get by Oregon then awaiting either Gonzaga or South Carolina.
Three conferences have accomplished the football-basketball sweep three times, the Big Ten, SEC, and Pac 12 (Pac 10 at the time), while the ACC has its two double-titles.
Here is the complete record of the 11 football-basketball sweeps with the football winner listed first:
1940-41 Minnesota and Wisconsin – Big Ten
1950-51 Tennessee and Kentucky – SEC
1952-53 Michigan State and Indiana – Big Ten
1967-68 USC and UCLA – Pac 10
1972-73 USC and UCLA – Pac 10
1973-74 USC (co-winner) and UCLA – Pac 10
1975-76 Ohio State and Indiana – Big Ten
1981-82 Clemson and North Carolina – ACC
1990-91 Georgia Tech (co-winner) and Duke – ACC
2006-07 Florida both – SEC
2011-12 Alabama and Kentucky – SEC