North Carolina head coach Roy Williams passes the ball during a practice session Friday at the Final Four. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
North Carolina’s path to a second straight national championship game certainly looks familiar, even if it’s only coincidental:
-- The Tar Heels won the Maui Invitational before winning the 2005 and 2009 national titles, and won this year’s event in November.
-- They beat Duke at home in the regular-season finale in 2005 and 2009, then did it March 4.
-- They were a No. 1 seed in the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament before losing in the semifinals in 2005 and 2009. The top-seeded Tar Heels lost in the semifinals to the Blue Devils last month.
-- They won their regional title in Memphis, Tennessee, in 2009 and again last month.
-- Their path to the 2009 title game as a No. 1 seed included matchups with the No. 16, No. 8, No. 4 and No. 2 seeds in their region, followed by facing a 3-seed in the Final Four. They did it again this year, beating Texas Southern (16), Arkansas (8), Butler (4) and Kentucky (2) in the South Region, then beating Midwest No. 3 Oregon in the national semifinals.
-- And lastly, the ACC hasn’t had the AP football national champion and men’s basketball champion in the same academic year since the 1981-82 season, when Clemson won in football and UNC won in basketball. Clemson won the football championship in January.
Maybe it all means nothing, but who doesn't love stats and random sports trivia?
Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter @aaronbeardap