10 fun facts about North Carolina

first_imgSyracuse, a .500 team in conference this season, is in the Final Four. What a time to be alive.SU (23-13, 9-9 Atlantic Coast) takes on No. 1 seed North Carolina (32-6, 14-4) on Saturday at 8:49 p.m.Get acquainted with 10 facts about the Orange’s rival in Chapel Hill, North Carolina:1. Everybody just get on the good footUNC is called the Tar Heels, and there are two possible reasons why. The first theory: During the Revolutionary War, British troops covered their feet with tar after crossing North Carolina rivers. The state has a lot of pine trees, so tar became one of its most important exports. The second: During the Civil War, North Carolina soldiers allegedly threatened to stick tar on the heels of retreating soldiers to make them stay in battle. Forgetting the impracticality of getting close enough to someone who’s trying to kill you to put a little tar on his heels, it’s a good story.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text2. Probably older than your great, great, great grandpaThe University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is the oldest public university in the country, founded in 1789. It’s also the only public university in the U.S. to award degrees in the 18th century. (Hint: They’re really, really proud of that.)3. Oregon TrailThe first student ever on UNC campus was Hinton James, who enrolled at the University on Feb. 12, 1795. According to legend, he walked to Chapel Hill from Wilmington. That’s 162 miles. He endured wilderness, animals and, if I learned anything from the Oregon Trail game, probably dysentery.  He made it there in two weeks and by the end of the year there were 41 students and two professors.4. Yeah, but do you have Calio’s?You know that circular rotunda with columns that you always see associated with UNC? It’s called “The Old Well,” smack dab in the middle of campus, and served as the university’s primary source of water for over a century. Today it’s just a water fountain. On the first day of class every semester, it’s a tradition starting at midnight to drink from that fountain to bring good luck and straight A’s.5. #SquadGoalsThere’s a famous street in Chapel Hill called Franklin Street. It’s named after a guy named Benjamin Franklin. But there’s a street that runs parallel to Franklin, Rosemary Street, with a way better backstory. A woman named Rose lived at one end of the street. Her good homie Mary lived at the other end. Yup.6. That’s Mr. Money Bags to youUNC has an annual budget of $2.4 billion, making it the school with the deepest pockets in the Final Four. That is slightly less than double Syracuse’s 2015 budget of $1.28 billion. Villanova’s budget isn’t public and Oklahoma is at $886 million.7. Why you so obsessed with me?There was a time when the American colonies loved England (or at least just talked trash behind their back). So a church was built in North Carolina called “Church of England New Hope Chapel” and it once stood atop the hill at the crossroads at the center of town. King gossip Thomas Paine aired his grievances and said, “England’s not that cool.” Years later, the town dropped the “Church of England,” apparently lost “New Hope” and became just Chapel Hill.8. His AirnessIf you need this fun fact to tell you that possibly the greatest basketball player ever, Michael Jordan, went to North Carolina then you should click our “Men’s Basketball” tab and start reading immediately. You need to be all caught up by Saturday.9. Smoke if you got ’emNorth Carolina is the largest producer of tobacco in the United States, growing nearly 375 million pounds per year. UNC aptly sits along Tobacco Road through the state. North Carolina’s production is more than double the second-largest producer, Kentucky.10. “Sorry, we only got Pepsi products.”This line is probably delivered a lot more in UNC than a lot of other places. Caleb Bradham, credited with inventing Pepsi Co., was a Tar Heel. Comments Published on March 29, 2016 at 10:52 pm Contact Sam: sjfortie@syr.edu | @Sam4TR Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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