Upper Deck has released a star-studded collection of college basketball cards focusing on one of the NCAA’s most storied programs: the University of North Carolina. The 183-card set celebrates more than 100 years of Tar Heels basketball – both the men’s and women’s programs – and includes autographed cards from standouts like Michael Jordan, Sam Perkins, Brad Daugherty, Mitch Kupchak, Rick Fox, Kenny Smith, Phil Ford, George Lynch, Bob McAdoo, Eric Montross and Hubert Davis. What’s more, legendary coach Dean Smith is featured in the set as is current Tar Heels coach Roy Williams, the latter who signed several cards within the set. All of the autographs in the set packed out live so there are no redemptions in the product.
“This is without a doubt the most comprehensive set of collegiate basketball cards ever produced focusing on just the UNC Tar Heels program,” said Brandon Miller, Upper Deck’s basketball brand manager. “With such a rich history of outstanding players and team championships, the University of North Carolina provided us with all the content we needed.”
Speaking of championships, the Tar Heels men’s program has five NCAA titles to its credit: 1957, ’82, ’93, ’05 and ’09. The women’s program, meanwhile, is impressive as well, having won it all in 1994 and earning a total of nine Atlantic Coast Conference tournament championships since 1984. The women in the set include Charlotte Smith, Ivory Latta, Pam Leake, Tonya Sampson, Sylvia Crawley, Bernadette McGlade, Angela Lumpkin, Jennifer Alley, Marsha Mann and former Olympic sprinter Marion Jones, who played for the Tar Heels during the team’s title run in ‘94.
The card set was produced through Upper Deck’s exclusive partnership with the Collegiate Licensing Co. Beyond the 83 player cards featured in the base set are five subsets consisting of 20 cards apiece: “Rivalries,” which pairs a renowned Tar Heel against a worthy adversary; “NCAA All-Americas,” which shows the elite Tar Heels in history; “The Carolina Basketball Museum,” which focuses on artifacts found in UNC’s very own hoops museum; “Timelines,” which call out historical dates in Tar Heels history; and “The Jordan Years,” which followJordan during his three years in Chapel Hill. The autographed inserts break down as follows: regular cards (1:24 packs); NCAA All-Americas and Timelines (numbered to three each); and The Jordan Years (each card numbered to 1).
Several parallel inserts, numbered to 50 each, exist including the previously mentioned subsets as well as a special 25-card “UNC Legacy Numbers” 3-D/lenticular collection that includes such players as Jordan, Perkins, Worthy, Fox, Daugherty, Ford and Montross.
Lastly, aside from Hobby boxes, which boast 24 packs per box, eight cards per pack, a separate retail Blaster Box version exists. The latter includes 10 packs per box, eight cards per pack. What’s unique about the Blaster boxes is that each one contains a bonus National Championship replica banner. Fans can buy blasters and collect all five of UNC’s men’s championship banners, which is certainly a must-have for fans looking to put together a piece of Carolina blue and white basketball history.