The varsity basketball teams at the College and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have set a date for the Tarheels to play the Big Green in Chapel Hill.
At noon on June 20, the sealed contract guaranteeing the game was delivered to men’s basketball coach Dave Faucher at noon.
The agreement states that the Big Green will travel to Chapel Hill on December 16, 1995 for a 7:30 p.m. game against the Tarheels.
The agreements also stipulate that North Carolina will play the Big Green in Hanover in the 1997-98 season on a date yet to be determined.
“It’s great for the program, and it’s a challenge to be playing against the best and most respected program in the country,” Faucher said. “We’ll get a lot of exposure nationally.”
Faucher also believes that the North Carolina deal may help attract talented recruits.
“Everyone has been telling [recruits] we have a class organization here, and that they can have good experiences playing basketball at Dartmouth,” Faucher told the Valley News. “Now they can see North Carolina is coming to our school.”
“The place is going to be buzzing and attendance is going to be up for a few years,” Faucher continued. “That kind of enthusiasm and publicity should spark some interest,” he said.
Faucher said the team will prepare no differently for the Carolina game.
“We’re just trying to do what we do,” said Faucher. “We play our style … we don’t change things.”
“It should be exciting for Dartmouth and the team, but we have to keep it in perspective,” player Brian Gilpin ’97 said. “It’s only one of 26 nights we play, and it has no importance to what we do in the Ivy League conference.”
The Big Green will have little time to prepare since they will travel to Harvard on December 12 and then take on Central Connecticut at home on December 14.
“The schedule is tight, but it’s doable and commonplace,” Faucher said.
Faucher said he believes that the game is an “upbeat and positive thing” for the program, Dartmouth, and the Upper Valley community.
“People in the Upper Valley will be able to see in person a team they usually watch on TV,” Faucher said.
Faucher said the Big Green has been negotiating with the Tarheels for some time.
In March, the Tarheels contacted Faucher to propose a game between the two teams.
After negotiations, a verbal agreement was reached where Dartmouth would travel to North Carolina this December 17, and the Tarheels would play in Hanover the following winter.
In May, North Carolina basketball coach Dick Baddour called Faucher and backed off the original agreement, saying that North Carolina had too many road games during the 1996-1997 season.
The call came just a few hours after a top recruit from Winchendon, Mass. signed with Florida State instead of North Carolina.
Other than the Kentucky Wildcats, North Carolina is the winningest program in the history of college basketball.
The team won the national championships in 1993 and made the Final Four this year.