Team with the most players from the United States. Although North Carolina didn't have a professional sports franchise in the major leagues until the 1980s, the state has long been known as a hotbed of college basketball. Although it has never hosted a Major League Baseball club, North Carolina is home to numerous minor league teams and summer college leagues. The Cougars played in North Carolina between 1969 and 1974 and divided their games between the Greensboro Coliseum, the original Charlotte Coliseum and the Dorton Arena in Raleigh.
Since the creation of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) in 1953, conference member schools in North Carolina have excelled in conference theater. The rivalry between A&T and North Carolina Central University (the second largest HBCU in the state) remains a fierce rivalry in numerous sports and has followed teams for many decades and in various league movements. Appalachian State University, Elon University, West Carolina University and North Carolina State University A&T have participated in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision championship qualifiers. The state of North Carolina and Wake Forest are also considered the main rivals of the Blue Devils and the Tar Heels.
For more information on the four-way rivalry, see Tobacco Road. Texas Christian (6), Virginia (50), UC Santa Barbara (4), Georgia Southern (3), Gonzaga (2), Arizona (2), Michigan (20), Wake Forest (1), Wake Forest (1), Campbell (1), Georgia Tech (1), Coastal Carolina (, Oregon (, Air Force) and Grand Canyon (complete the top five). Several professional tours stop in North Carolina each year, including the eGolf Professional Tour (formerly the Tarheel Tour), which is based in Charlotte. North Carolina and North Carolina have women's gymnastics teams in the Eastern Atlantic Gymnastics League, which they have won four times each.
However, the Panthers weren't North Carolina's first foray into professional football; in the mid-1970s, the World Football League Hornets called Charlotte's American Legion Memorial stadium home. Whether the state of North Carolina and its capital want to admit it or not, baseball is in their DNA. North Carolina has seven FBS teams in all of the North Carolina Tar Heels, NC State Wolfpack, Duke Blue Devils, Wake Forest Demon Deacons, East Carolina Pirates, Appalachian State Mountaineers and Charlotte 49ers. There are several minor league baseball teams in North Carolina, including the Asheville Tourists, the Burlington Royals, the Carolina Mudcats, the Charlotte Knights, the Durham Bulls, and the Greensboro Grasshoppers.
The team played its games at the Greensboro Coliseum during its first two seasons in North Carolina before moving to its current headquarters at the Entertainment and Sports Arena, later the RBC Center and now the PNC Arena, in Raleigh. Louis, it would be fourteen years before professional basketball returned to Old North State when Charlotte hosted the 24th NBA franchise, the Charlotte Hornets.