Last week the Tar Heels were back in the SI Top 20 at No. 14 and ready for Syracuse. In a torturous practice the night before the game, Smith was caustic. "What do I have to do, beg?" he snapped at Daugherty, who had messed up an in-bounds play. Later, it was Syracuse that begged Daugherty for mercy. "He seems to be the difference," Boeheim said of Daugherty. "Without Brad, Carolina wasn't big. They were searching. They weren't a team to be reckoned with. Now they're as good as anybody."
In the other locker room, where he charmed and yessir-ed the media, Daugherty seemed unaware of his own importance. "I'm not trying to replace Worthy," he said. "Like Coach says, I'm replacing Sam, and Sam's replacing Worthy. I'll never be a James Worthy...or a Sam Perkins. I'm just trying to be me." And because he is, the national champions are now 10-3 and playing like, well, national champions.