March Madness flashback

Video: 'Blue Steel' goes behind the scenes at the NCAA tournament

In March in Chapel Hill, all eyes are on the UNC men’s basketball team. But are the players that you see every night on television the same guys when the cameras leave? Reesenews had a sneaking suspicion that they were a lot more fun.

So we gave senior D.J. Johnston, a member of the beloved  group of walk-on players known as Blue Steel, a Flip Cam to record the behind-the-scenes moments when the Tar Heels traveled to Newark, N.J., for the Sweet Sixteen. Starting with the departure from Chapel Hill and ending with a freestyle musical competition after the team beat Marquette, Johnston caught everything.

There are several hidden gems in the video. Click through to see a Harrison Barnes and Kendall Marshall duet on Rebecca Black’s hit song “Friday”; a discussion of the merits of the North versus the South; a crazy intense game of Catchphrase; and a John Henson three-pointer on an assist from ol’ Roy himself. What’s your favorite moment? Leave a comment below letting us know.

Feeling nostalgic after seeing the Tar Heels again? Check out these graphics explaining anything you’d ever want to know about UNC basketball, as well as this interactive photo gallery from the season:

Check out reesesport for game coverage, photos and interactives from the the 2010-2011 season.

Pressley Baird, a senior from Mebane, N.C., is an assistant editor with the Reese Felts Digital News Project.

Daniel Sircar, a junior from Charlotte, N.C., is a multimedia journalist for the Reese Felts Digital News Project.

  1. That kind of team chemistry is what great teams are made of.

    Comment by tarheel89 on April 20, 2011 at 1:50 am

  2. I agree. I'm psyched that all five starters are returning! Next season's gonna be a lot of fun.

    Comment by @danielsircar on April 20, 2011 at 2:07 am


    Comment by @Jrock2310 on April 20, 2011 at 2:22 am

  4. I'm from Mebane, N.C. and I'm in the Navy over here in Italy at the moment…I'm known as "Carolina" over here or the best I've heard is someone told me that my wardrobe consists of 3 church shirts and the rest is Carolina gear so watching this video was a true blast for a die hard fan!!!!! Thank you so much for this!!!!!!!!

    Comment by Jah-Son Snipes on April 20, 2011 at 3:16 am

  5. Not much of a duet but a cool video

    Comment by @thux45 on April 20, 2011 at 8:49 am

  6. This is awesome guys. Nice work. Great innovation and access. I don't know if you proposed traveling with them yourselves, but this is such a nice solution and, in a way, more honest.

    Comment by Eileen on April 20, 2011 at 12:12 pm

  7. Thanks Eileen! I think that's what I liked about making this video–it's a lot more genuine than the glossy images you see on national TV, and the team character really shines through.

    We're gonna try doing more stories like this where we give cameras to folks and let them report on their own lives–think about it, it has infinite application! Kids, soldiers, teachers…anybody whose perspective we all would benefit from seeing.

    Let me know if you have any ideas of who it'd be interesting to give cameras to next! Cheers

    Comment by @danielsircar on April 20, 2011 at 1:17 pm

  8. This is fabulous. Congratulations to Daniel and Pressley. It's pure filming.

    Comment by Winston Cavin on April 20, 2011 at 1:34 pm

  9. its hard to imagine the amount of talent on the team next year! all five starters, and 2 of the most elite players in the country in james mcadoo and pj hairston. really excited for next year!

    Comment by Michael on April 20, 2011 at 4:16 pm

  10. There are some great comments over at Inside Carolina, if you folks want to check 'em out:…

    Comment by @danielsircar on April 20, 2011 at 7:17 pm

  11. Does anyone know who the girl is in the locker room with them, she is also playing cards with them too?

    Comment by Mary Schmidt on April 20, 2011 at 8:55 pm

  12. She's at all the games. She works for the team in some capacity.

    Comment by Jonathan on April 21, 2011 at 1:32 am

  13. Manager Katherine Johnson

    Comment by Duh on April 21, 2011 at 8:54 am

  14. Awesome!

    Comment by TarHeelPirate on April 21, 2011 at 1:39 pm

  15. Turn to 9:45 the best part in the whole movie i love it

    Comment by @LipGloss_poppin on April 21, 2011 at 10:53 pm

  16. At the 5:16 mark in the video WHERE can I get that shirt Barnes is wearing!!!

    Comment by mo49unc on April 26, 2011 at 5:06 pm

  17. What are the songs that lez and john are listening to?

    Comment by Wesley on April 27, 2011 at 12:35 pm

  18. Lesley: Ballin – Young Jeezy (Ft. Lil Wayne)

    Comment by @danielsircar on April 30, 2011 at 7:16 pm