®bi' lailu (Tar MM News/ r ■B 107 years of editorial freedom 'Serving the studenti and the University " community since 1893 Who Would've Thought? Tar Heels Shake Tulsa, Earn Unexpected Trip to Final Four By Brian Murphy Senior Writer AUSTIN, Texas - Joseph Forte hasn’t been a typical freshman basketball player since he arrived on the North Carolina campus. “I knew the tradition of freshmen, and I didn’t want to be like a regular fresh man,” Forte said. “I wanted to stand out.” On Sunday, Forte stood out all right. He stood out by carrying the Tar Heels past Tulsa 59-55 and into the Final Four with a career high 28 points. He stood out as the South Regional Most Outstanding Player. Maybe more remarkably, he stood out as a freshman. The tradition is that UNC fresh men are seen but not heard, and cer tainly not on the court. But as the most highly touted member of UNC’s freshman class. Forte told his teammates in pick up games that he would average 12 points a game his first season. “1 was saying I’m going to be a jILV' ■ ■ iBF i 1 rp£ * Kj| JHj 5 B/ factor. I’m going to average this amount of points, I’m going to be a key factor, a go-to guv, just ridiculous stuff,” he said. As for his teammates, they t@ld the cocky new kid to shut up and then voted V* jJfM DTH/JEFF POULAND Freshman Dana Leventhal chants "Final Four" with a mob of fans that stormed Franklin Street after the Tar Heels' 59-55 win against Tulsa in the South Regional Final. Campus, Franklin Street Erupt in Frenzied Celebration By Lauren Bfal Assistant University Editor The grin on Mike Tong’s face stretched from ear to ear as students passed him above their heads through the crowd. As the screaming below him grew louder, the sophomore surfed above the croyvd faster and faster until, arms and legs Hailing, he fell to the street. Those around him gasped. But the collision with the pavement didn’t stop him for a second - he pushed away out stretched hands, jumped to his feet and let out a deafening yell. “This is my third time up there,” Tong said as he cheered. “They just screamed my name and threw me up.” Tong’s position above the crowd gave him a bird’s-eye view of the mayhem of Franklin Street on Sunday afternoon. Only minutes after the Tar Heels defeated Tulsa and advanced to the Final Four, throngs of UNC students flooded Franklin Street, adorning the Hen’s Basketball him to tote around the team’s green bag, fdled with medical sup plies. So when Forte led all scor- UNC 59 Tulsa 1 55 UNC 74 Tennessee 69 ers with 31 points in the Blue White scrim mage and coach Bill Guthridge hardly mentioned him in the postgame press con ference, Forte finally took the hint. “I just got the feeling after that game that freshmen aren’t supposed to get this much attention, so I’m going to talk about Ed Cota and Brendan Haywood,” Forte said. After Sunday, there is no denying Forte, who exceed ed his bold scoring prediction and became the first lar Heel freshman to lead the team in scoring with 16.7 points a game. With the Tar Heel game plan of pounding the ball down low stymied by Tulsa, which dou bled UNC center Brendan Haywood every time he touched the ball, it was up to Forte to bail out the offense. “We probably shouldn’t have focused on their size,” said Tulsa forward Erie See MEN'S BASKETBALL, Page 7 trees and storefronts with toilet paper and filling the air with the sound of fire crackers, chants and screams. Sophomore Matt Miller from Laurinburg stood several rows back from the crackling bonfire that sent smoke spiraling through the air. Squashed against friends and strangers, Miller joined in the revel ry, celebrating the win and looking forward to the upcoming game in “When you go to the best University in the world, you get hyped up, and you get a little rowdy. ” Dandrik Gi enn UNC Senior Indiana. “I’m thinking this is greatly insane that people come out here and raise hell,” he said. “Yeah, I think we’re going all the way. Hell yeah!” Above his head, one student dangled precariously from a tree with his camera while others watched from the safety of Franklin Street building rooftops. Girls with painted faces and Carolina I'm just ready to go, ready to keep on dancin'. Jason Capel Monday, March 27, 2000 Volume 108, Issue 19 ■pi Mr . W‘ • V’Vimt 1 r ;; J Nr HBLI n Wm B W #8;" m. tlfllWßCi M - \ B fIHB f/f | - ? \i DTH MIIJJ.RPFAR.SALI. North Carolina senior Ed Cota (above) cuts down the net after the Tar Heels' 59-55 victory against Tulsa in the South Regional Final. It will mark Cota's third trip to the Final Four in his four years at UNC. Joseph Forte (above left), who scored 28 points, was named the Most Outstanding Player at the South Regional. blue ribbons ran through the crowd, while several wide-eyed young children held their ears in reaction to the noise. Senior Dandrick Glenn made an appearance with his trombone, playing to celebrate Friday’s and Sunday’s victories. “When you go to ihe best University in the world, you get hyped up, and you get a little rowdy,” he said. "We love our school and we love our team.” The celebration continued as fans packed into the Smith Center late Sunday night to greet the team mem bers as they arrived back in Chapel Hill. Nearly all of the open lower level sec lions were filled with screaming sup porters, while Carolina blue and white See REACTION, Page 7 1 I I W 9 m Sm. ■mgS DTH/EMII.Y SCHNURF. Jason Capel, sophomore guard for UNC's Indianapolis-bound men's basketball team, thanks a crowd in the Smith Center on Sunday night. News/Features/ Arts/Sports Business/Advertising 962-0245 962-1163 Chapel Hill, North Carolina C 2000 DTH Publishing Corp. All rights reserved. UNC's Wins Soaked in Suspense The victories against Tulsa and Tennessee are two of 21 NCAA tournament games decided by five points or less, By Evan Markfield Senior Writer AUSTIN, Texas - The people at CBS must be happy to know that Kris Lang and North Carolina have the net work’s best interest at heart. W'ith their 59-55 win against Tulsa in the South Regional Final on Sunday and their 74-69 victory against Tennessee on Friday, the Tar Heels have made sure viewers remain on the edges of their seats right until the buzzer. “You’ve got to have suspense,” Lang said with a laugh. “It’s good for the rat v,,,v, ' LWC m> CWuJwm, We’ve ' t*ftt to keep yriii on yrrtit toes ” Leading 55-48 with 2:04 remaining against Tulsa in Sunday’s contest, the Tar Heels turned the ball over on three consecutive possessions, and the Golden Hurricane cut the lead to three. Two of those turnovers came from point guard Ed Cota, who had seven on the game against the Tulsa pressure. “That was uncharacteristic of the way we handle it,” UNC coach Bill Guthridge said. “Ed was completely worn out there at the end, and they were able to take advantage of that.” While defense and free throws would seal the game, UNC was in the midst of another nail-biter just two days after squeaking past Tennessee. Trailing the Volunteers by seven with 4:48 remaining Friday, the Tar Heels batded back and finally pulled ahead on a Cota layup with 1:59 to go. After building the lead to six on free throws by Joseph Forte andjulius Peppers, the Tar Heels got a scare when Vols point guard Tony Harris buried a 3 to make it 70-67 with 13 seconds on the clock. But again UNC hit its free throws See SUSPENSE, Page 7 ikIQIDF 9 f Monday Smoke Screen The newest tobacco lawsuit has pushed lawmakers to seek yet another special legislative session. See Page 5. Give Us a Little Credit A coming report on credit ratings for North Carolina counties could propel Orange County's rating into the top percentages. See Page 8. Last Chance The deadline has been extended to turn in applications for a spot on the committee to pick the next editor of The Daily Tar Heel. They are available at the front desk of the DTH in Suite 104 of the Student Union. Call 962-4086 with additional questions. Today’s Weather Thunderstorms; Low 70s. Tuesday: Cloudy; High 60s.