Dean Smith still looms large in Kansas-UNC connection

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In case you didn’t know, Dean Smith grew up in Kansas and played for the Phog Allen’s Jayhawks when Kansas won its first NCAA tournament in 1952. He’s the reason Roy Williams came to Kansas in 1988 and one of the big reason the North Carolina native went back to UNC in 2003.

And he’ll undoubtedly be the focus of about 1,000 stories if North Carolina and Kansas play each other in Sunday’s Midwest Regional final.

But why wait? Either team could stumble in Friday’s games, and there’s always room for a little hoops history involving Smith.

With that, I offer Vahe Gregorian’s fun feature on the Smith as the tie that binds UNC and Kansas. Any story that opens with a guy buying Smith’s childhood home is worth a read.

You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.