Sean May, Raymond Felton and Marvin Williams came to North Carolina with hopes of winning the national championship. Once they got the title, they really had no reason to hang around.
"To me, it's the perfect way to end a season and a career," May said.
All three are joining teammate Rashad McCants in the NBA draft and leaving the Tar Heels without their top seven scorers for next season. The announcement came Friday during a news conference on the court at the Dean Smith Center.
Coach Roy Williams sat at the podium with the players, and when he began speaking about them, he briefly had tears in his eyes.
"I've coached a lot of great players and these three here are at the top of the list," he said. "If you added the numbers all up for these three guys, I probably haven't yelled at these three guys 10 times all year."
North Carolina also lost seniors Jawad Williams, Jackie Manuel and Melvin Scott, and now has only one player on its roster who started a game last season -- point guard Quentin Thomas, who replaced the suspended Felton in the opener.
The Tar Heels have one of the best recruiting classes coming to campus, and Roy Williams might add a couple of more players.
"If the program was devastated, I'd be leaving with them," the coach said. "We're still going to show up on game night.
"That's the attitude I'm going to have. You might beat me, but you're not going to have to beat me by hitting me in the back. I'm going to come right at you."