A look into Cormac Ryan’s last home game at UNC against his old team

The UNC men’s basketball program secured at least a share of the ACC regular season championship after a dominating performance on senior night against Notre Dame.

As all the attention went to celebrating the legacies Armando Bacot and RJ Davis will leave behind, rightfully so, one Tar Heel senior not only got his flowers but also a win over his former team. Cormac Ryan has been a star transfer for UNC after being a thorn in their heels for the past three years as a member of the fighting Irish.

Ryan finished with 14 points and five rebounds in the 81-54 blowout, delivering a final blow to his former team. However, it wasn’t his play on the court that stood out the most. Instead, it was his calm demeanor. During the press conference, I asked Hubert Davis about Ryan’s stellar performance against his old team, and his answer echoed Ryan’s approach to the game.

“That’s the sad part for me is I only get to coach him for one year. You know what he brought to this team, to this program. In just one year he has left a legacy by the person he is, the player and teammate he is. Usually it’s somewhat emotional playing your former team but I think there were very few guys from the team he was on at Notre Dame, so it’s almost irrelevant, kind of playing against a new team. But Cormac’s always locked in. He’s our guy. The voice in the locker room, in the huddle, on the court. And he had everybody focused on what was most important for us and that was to get a win tonight.”

The moment was even sweeter in the player locker room scrimmage following the game, with UNC great Larry Brown congratulating Ryan, and sharing a special moment.

I asked Ryan about his emotions going against his former team and how it felt to be out there, and his answer perfectly highlighted what Davis said in the presser.

“I gotta love for Notre Dame…They got a really good team and they are going to be good for years to come…I’m glad we handled our business and got the win…I was excited, I knew what was at stake for us, we had lofty goals this year, and getting a piece of the regular season title was definitely one of them. Being senior night is the last time I play on this court, just soaking it all in and enjoying the moment.”

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Story originally appeared on Tarheels Wire