One Of Alabama's Most Famous Basketball Moments Was Against North Carolina

Alabama Athletics
Christopher Walsh

When Alabama and North Carolina will play for the 12th time in series history today in the Bad Boy Mowers Battle 4 Atlantis at Paradise Island in The Bahamas (1:30 p.m. CT, ESPN), it'll be for the first time since the Tar Heels captured a 64-55 win in the second round of the 1992 NCAA Tournament in Cincinnati, Ohio. 

UNC owns a 7-4 advantage in the all-time series.

However, one of the biggest moments in Crimson Tide history occurred against the Tar Heels — George Linn's famous shot. 

Linn, a first team All-American in 1956, averaged 22.2 points per game, the fifth-highest scoring average in program history. 

A member of head coach Johnny Dee's "Rocket 8" team, he led the Crimson Tide to its first postseason ranking at No. 12 in 1955 before improving to a program-best No. 5 during the 1956 season, when he helped the team compile a 21-3 record and win an SEC title.

That same year, Alabama finished as the first-ever undefeated team in SEC history (14-0) until 40 years later when Kentucky accomplished the feat in 1996.

Linn has the unique distinction of hitting the longest shot in program history when he nailed a full court shot measuring 84 feet 11 inches in Foster Auditorium at the end of the first half vs. North Carolina on Jan. 4, 1955. 

The shot, which still remains the longest shot made in a sanctioned NCAA basketball game, was featured in Sports Illustrated and is commemorated at the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. 

A brass marker was placed on the gym floor to indicate the location of the shot.

Following his collegiate career, Linn earned a spot as an alternate on the 1956 Olympic Team that won the gold medal in Melbourne, Australia. Linn was drafted by the Boston Celtics with the sixth pick in the third round of the 1956 NBA Draft. 

He still ranks among Alabama's all-time leaders in scoring (1,444 career points) and rebounding (722). 

“That shot has followed me forever,” Linn said in 2006, when the Rocket 8 team held its 50th anniversary at Coleman Coliseum.

Linn died in 2018. He was 84. 

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