San Antonio: Locker rooms of cheers and tears
Posted March 22
Updated April 7
For one squad it was about trust, trust in the coaches and the players that they could pull out the win. For another squad it was about fighting until the end, honoring what they had accomplished.
For both it was about a journey that neither team wanted to end.
North Carolina’s started back in January with a 1-4 start in the ACC, North Carolina Central’s started four years ago with a dynamic duo that believed in their coach.
Both teams had different obstacles to overcome to get to NCAA tournament play Friday. And both teams faced different fates at the days end.
“It was a fun game, because we won,” UNC guard Marcus Paige said with a laugh after their win over Providence.
One locker room was full of smiles, relief and joy that they would move on to Sunday; another tears.
While Roy Williams and the North Carolina team basked in their hard fought win, NC Central head coach LeVelle Moton and his squad were sad that such an incredible journey had come to an end.
“Right now it’s kind of hard for me to swallow this and give out how proud I am of our accomplishments,” NC Central’s Emanuel Chapman said following their loss to Iowa State.
"I'm so proud of my team. I'm so proud of what they accomplished," said Moton after the game. "[Chapman and Jeremy Ingram] fought tooth and nail. It hasn't been an easy journey for neither one, but the reason I'm up here is because of these two. So I'm just proud of them. I love them to death, and they made history."
And though the Eagles season is over, they are well aware that what they did for their school lives on. Minutes after the loss, seniors Chapman and Ingram said the torch has been passed on to the underclassmen to carry on the legacy.