CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – David Sink, a veteran entrepreneur and one of the software visionaries at IBM, could only smile as he watched tech executives revert to boyhood for a few moments, taking 3-pointers, throwing up jump shots, laughing and high-fiving each other when an occasional shot hit home.

“Successful disruptors are a lot like those young teams from UNC that won national championships,” Sink said, pointing to the rafters 20 or 20 stories above the court at the Dean Dome where the banners of NCAA champions hang. “They were a blend of youth and experience, freshmen and seniors, freshmen who didn’t know that they weren’t supposed to be where they were and veterans who had the confidence and leadership to get them there.”

While the young, such as Motricity’s Jud Bowman and Broadwick’s co-founders Ryan Allis and Aaron Houghton, and the old-er (to be kind) including Lulu’s Bob Young and ibiblio’s Paul Jones, horsed around, Sink reflected on the just concluded “Disruptors” event put on by Business 2.0 magazine at the nearby Kenan-Flagler Business School.

“Jordan did not know he wasn’t supposed to take that shot,” Sink said, thinking back to Michael Jordan’s jumper to beat Georgetown in the 1982 championship game. “If he had thought about it as a freshman, he would have passed the ball to James Worthy. But he saw he was open so he took the shot.”

As the ball rippled the chords, giving Dean Smith his first NCAA title as a coach, a legend was born.

No, make that a disruptor.

“Mike became Michael,” Young said. “He certainly became a disruptor for the game of basketball.”

Business 2.0 invited some 20 executives from around the Triangle and southeast to gather for a discussion about disruptive technologies. The firms, such as Young’s Lulu (and before that, Red Hat, which he co-founded), are disruptive in the sense that they are taking on incumbent players in established industries and changing those businesses. Red Hat helped change forever the world of software development with its Linux expertise and bravado in the face of more senior players such as Microsoft. And Young’s Lulu is taking on the giants of publishing in books, music and other media with a business that gives authors, musicians and artists to self-publish.

While Young may not be a Jordan on the basketball court, he has proved to be Jordan-esque, if you will, in business. Red Hat and Lulu weren’t supposed to succeed, but the former has and the latter is headed that way. At Red Hat, Young the experienced businessman teamed with very young, talented engineers and programmers to show Bill Gates, Larry Ellison of Oracle and others that they no longer owned software.

The Hatters upset the kings, sort of like the upstart Marlins knocking off the Yankees in the World Series a few years back.

Young told the group that disruptors see opportunities where others see impossible odds.

“The most consolidated ones – those are the biggest opportunities,” he said, talking about energy providers to book publishers to software developers and more.

Why? “Because there is less love and trust” among their customers, he said. The giants “typically force their customers” to behave the way they want, not the buyers.

He cited the music industry’s attempts to prevent music downloads with lawsuits as an example. Ultimately, disruptors transformed the industry because the consumers demanded it.

“The more dominant the player, the bigger the opportunity,” Young said.

And those with the bravado, skill and talent will deliver winning shots – just as a young Mike did so long ago.