One Fantastic Ride

The Inside Story of Carolina Basketball's 2009 Championship Season

By Adam Lucas, Steve Kirschner, Matt Bowers

Foreword by Roy Williams

256 pp., 7.9375 x 10, 208 illus., 2 tables, appends.

  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-0-8078-9923-6
    Published: November 2009
  • E-book PDF ISBN: 979-8-8908-8608-8
    Published: November 2009

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One Fantastic Ride is a behind-the-scenes portrait of the unforgettable journey to the University of North Carolina's 2009 basketball national championship, the program's fifth NCAA Tournament title. Adam Lucas, Steve Kirschner, and Matt Bowers were with the Tar Heels every step of the way, interviewing coaches, players, and staff.

As the 2008-09 season opened, national pundits widely considered the Tar Heels the hands-down favorite to win the title. But injuries to key players, surprising midseason losses, and formidable ACC competition made the ride bumpier than expected. In the crucial last month of the season, however, a veteran team drew on their experience--and subtle adjustments by coaches and players--to achieve the goal they'd set for themselves after their disappointing defeat in the 2008 Final Four.

More than just a season-in-the-life of a perennially excellent program, this book captures the crowning achievement of a senior class that exemplified the proud tradition of Carolina Basketball, both on and off the court. They became the most decorated class in UNC Basketball history while enjoying every aspect of their Tar Heel experience.

With "Thoughts for the Day" taken directly from Carolina Basketball practice plans and more than 200 color photographs, this book is a unique keepsake for fans everywhere. Full of insights from players and coaches, One Fantastic Ride takes an intimate look at how the Tar Heels pulled it all together to come out on top.

About the Authors

Adam Lucas is a featured columnist at, the official website of Carolina Athletics, and is publisher of Tar Heel Monthly and Tar Heels Today. Lucas, along with Steve Kirschner and Matt Bowers, co-authored Led by Their Dreams: The Inside Story of Carolina's Journey to the 2005 National Championship.

For more information about Adam Lucas, visit the Author Page.

Steve Kirschner is associate director of athletics for communications at the University of North Carolina.
For more information about Steve Kirschner, visit the Author Page.

Matt Bowers is associate director of athletic communications at UNC.
For more information about Matt Bowers, visit the Author Page.


"Numbers, words, photos--three ways to tell the same story. The strength of One Fantastic Ride is that it brings all three elements together in a compelling way. . . . Surpasses previous championship books in the level of detail it pays to what actually happened on the court and why. . . . As time passes and more seasons come and go, the legendary performances turned in by the 2008-09 Tar Heels at the end of the season are likely only to grow in stature. One Fantastic Ride captures this extraordinary moment in exemplary fashion."

"Offers more behind-the-scenes stories, quotes and insights plus hundreds of color photos usually found in more expensive coffee table books. . . . The authors are UNC 'insiders' of long standing and share their access and historical knowledge with readers."--Community Sports News

"For Carolina fans, the book is also a fantastic ride, enhanced by excellent color photographs of the championship players in action."--Metro Magazine

"North Carolina basketball has such a rich tradition. The fans bleed Tar Heel blue, and the 2008-09 season was a special one for the loyal supporters. This book chronicles the great ride from the start of the campaign to cutting down the nets at Ford Field. Adam Lucas, Steve Kirschner, and Matt Bowers did a terrific job and for the North Carolina faithful, this is super, scintillating, sensational, baby!"--Dick Vitale

"The 2008-09 national championship season was full of great moments for a terrific group of players, coaches, and fans. Only an outstanding book could do justice to this team and their story--Lucas, Kirschner and Bowers have delivered a masterpiece. One Fantastic Ride brings those moments back to life and will remind fans everywhere why it's great to be a Tar Heel!"--Phil Ford

Multimedia & Links

For media materials (author photo, press release, etc.), click here.