Loyal UNC fans flock to Houston for practices, game

Max and Priscilla Holland drove 17 hours from Sylva, North Carolina to watch UNC play. (WNCN Photo)

HOUSTON, TX (WNCN) – Hundreds of UNC fans filled the NRG Stadium Friday to watch the Tar Heels practice ahead of their Final Four matchup against Syracuse.

Most fans flew into town to watch the Tar Heels play this weekend, but Max and Priscilla Holland drove 17 hours from Sylva to watch UNC play.

“We have family out here and wanted to come out for the game,” said Max Holland, who was in college at UNC in 1957 when they played Wilt Chamberlain and Kansas in the National Championship. “We just hope we’ll be able to watch them cut down the nets on Monday.”

The Hollands joined hundreds of other fans from around the country in Houston as they hope UNC can bring home its sixth championship title.

“It would be great to be here when they win it all,” said Jeff White, who flew in with his family from California to watch the Tar Heels.

“This team has a lot of height, a lot of depth, hopefully they can pull it off this year,” said Sam Allison, who flew in with his sons from New Mexico.

UNC is also well represented in Houston where many fans made the short trip Friday to watch the Tar Heels practice.

“I was ecstatic when I found out they’d be playing here in Houston,” Anthony Mackey said. “It’s been fun to watch all the games this year so I’m glad to see them here in person.”

Doc Robison, also a Heels fan from Houston, said Syracuse has a great team. “But North Carolina has a greater team,” he said. “They let me down a few times, but not this time. This time they gonna take it.”

Anna Hubbard, who made the drive from 30 minutes away with her two sons to watch practice, said, “We decided to skip school a little bit and come see the teams play and do some scouting.”

And for fans like the Hollands, the long drive home would be a little more manageable coming home with a Tar Heel championship win.

“We’ll be happy to go home smiling,” Holland said.

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