CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (A) - North Carolina's national championship basketball team was greeted by 10,00 to 15,000 cheering fans when the Tar Heels landed at the Raleigh-Durham airport Sunday.
The team returned from Kansas City where Saturday night it won the National Collegiate Athletic Assn. tournament with a heart-stopping 54-53 victory over Kansas in triple overtime.
Missing was North Carolina coach Frank McGuire and All-America forward Lennie Rosenbluth. Rosenbluth went to New York where he appeared on the Ed Sullivan television show. He will return to Kansas City to play in an East-West All-Star game tonight.
McGuire remained to coach the East team.
Airport manager Arvin Saunders estimated the size of the crowd and said it was the biggest ever assembled at the airport.
The crowd was so thick that a formal welcoming ceremony in which North Carolina chancellor Robert B. House was to make a welcoming speech never was held.
The players, subs and all, were besieged by youngsters and a few oldsters - before several of the players were carried from the airport ramp on the shoulders of admiring students. The first to be carried off was Joe Quigg whose pair of free throws gave the Tar Heels their winning margin over Kansas.
North Carolina Gov. Luther Hodges, who flew out to watch the Tar Heels play, arrived at the airport about 30 minutes later.