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COLLEGE BASKETBALL / NCAA TOURNAMENT

March 14, 1998|ROBYN NORWOOD

The reason North Carolina and North Carolina Charlotte have never played before today's game is largely because retired Tar Heel coach Dean Smith didn't like to schedule nonconference games against state schools--unless they were coached by former Tar Heels.

"It's a philosophy I'm planning to stick with," North Carolina Coach Bill Guthridge said. "There are only so many games you can play, and we like to have a national schedule. . . . Not to slight UNC Charlotte, they're an ACC-caliber team."

Asked if he was concerned about ill will from the state schools North Carolina doesn't schedule, Guthridge paused a beat.

"I'd just as soon not play the ACC schools in the state too," he said. "If that would solve it, I'll try it."

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