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Carmichael Auditorium: Blue Heaven


Dean Smith was the new coach, and Larry Miller was the new blue chip recruit.  Everyone was ready for Carolina's dominant rise in college basketball, and this is where it would happen.  Carmike had 8,800 seats when it opened and became a legend for Tarheel fans.  In this picture you can see the three generations of Carolina basketball:  the Tin Can in the top left, Woolen Gym in the center, and Carmichael adjoining in the bottom. Carmike was known for its tremendous loudness, and its tendency to heat up during high pressure games. Coaches would accuse Smith of turning up the heat in pressure games.  The seating occupancy was increased to 10,000 in the seventies, but it was not enough.  Carolina basketball was always sold out and needed a bigger home.