… The cosmos is aligned for late March. Carolina and Duke ascending to their manifest destinies along with familiar names like Kentucky, Arizona, Louisville, Mr. Iba’s Oklahoma State, Magic’s Spartans, even Rollie’s Villanova Wildcats. Yea, verily, these hoop dynasties have been joined by the descendants of The Silver Fox. “The Triangle” is home to 8 NCAA BB National Championships. Two of those trophies do NOT reside in either Chapel Hill or Durham, but rather in Raleigh. The NFL says “on any given Sunday …” but Tar Heels say “Don’t Even Think About It!”
A segment of Carolina sports fans think about college basketball 24/7/365. Some critics say even when they are in “beautiful Kenan Stadium” in the Fall, their butts are in Kenan but their hearts are in Dean’s Dome. That is probably correct for many. Find me THE most rabid UNC basketball fan. Heck, find me the ten most rabid UNC basketball fans and let me ask them …
“Going into the 2nd weekend of March Madness
name 100 schools Carolina might meet in The Elite Eight.”
Maybe Gonzaga or Pepperdine or Austin Peay or Carneige Mellon or Pan American or Lorelei’s School of Cosmetology and Hair Removal … but NOBODY would say North Carolina State University. Why not? The Wolfpack finished 2nd in the ACC last year and had a strong nucleus returning PLUS they “danced” last year. The reason no Tar Heel loonie would ever predict such a meeting is the same reason you don’t mention “no-hitter” to a pitcher in the 8th inning.
Carolina has beaten State twice already this season … a 20+ rout in Chapel Hill and a hard fought but convincing 10 point win in Raleigh. Carolina is hitting on all cylinders after its first two “dances” and is the odds-on favorite to play in the Finals and a 4th NCAA National Championship would not surprise anyone … piss off tons of people for sure but not surprise anyone. But still no way does UNC playing State in The Dance ever happen. Wake yes … GaTech sure … Charlotte maybe … and of course SatanHisOwnSelf and his evil ProbablyAllGay Devils from Derm … but State … No Way. Why, just three weeks ago …
… Beleaguered Herb Sendek was working on his “The NIT really IS a big deal” motivational pep talk. STOP THE TAPE … Enter Chris Paul and Barry Saunders. Paul punches Julius Hodge in his (insert cutesy anatomical euphemism) and then Barry “Sportin’ Life” Saunders sucker punches the Wuff Nation with exaggerated accusations of rampant racism. If that wasn’t enough the extra chromosome wing of Wuff Nation was distributing “Fire Herb Then Run Over Him With a Truck” petitions. How Bad Was It ??? … It Was Soooo Bad that Sri Lanka Tsunami victims were holding “Save NC State Basketball” telethons throughout Micronesia.
In insanely implausible fashion reminiscent of 1983, the red-clad hoopsters are 160 minutes from a 3rd National Championship … Holy Nick Trifunovich Batman! … somewhere in a dilapidated crack house in Flagstaff Arizona the bastard grandchild of Dirty Dan Wells is hiccupping.
The 99% of America that conspiratorially ignores any accomplishment whatsoever by Chuck Nevitt’s Raleigh-based alma mater is almost paying attention. Not quite but almost. Meanwhile 28 miles to the west … a Franklin Street flower lady checking her NCAA brackets muttered to no one in particular … “We could end up playing those no-count rednecks next Sunday”. YIKES!
She was quickly muffled by two Tri Delts and Big Enos, the Asst Mgr of The Rathskellar (and former back-up “Pip” for Gladys Knight); but it was too late … the unspeakable words had been said. Rumplestiltskin had been named. From the flower lady’s seat in front of Bank of America it moved in rapid concentric circles through Town & Gown … every Tar Heel … the lunatics, the level-heads, the faculty squirrels, Meezie, Prince Tassel Loafer, even Uncle Gut napping in his consultant’s closet deep in the Dean’s Dome, has to acknowledge … Carolina could indeed end up playing NC State in a nationally televised Really Big Game on Sunday night to advance to The Final Four.
All that is at stake will be
“Life as we know it”
Denial of the possibility no longer works so go to Plan B. “They’ll never get pass Wisconsin.” Plan B-2 is “Carolina might not get pass Villanova”. Plan B is unanimously seen as preferable to B-2.
IF State and Carolina do meet Sunday night in Syracuse it has the potential for a catastrophe of Apocalyptic proportions. Despite the two earlier UNC wins, this is the dreaded “beat a team three times in one season” hurdle. Since his testicular discomfort, Julius Hodge has been playing like Julius 2004. The two un-Americans are draining threes and the lanky lefthanded pitching freshman is a man possessed. Supporting cast is contributing and Herb is not finding new ways to lose in the final two minutes.
If Amedeo’s has a Heavenly location, Wally Ausley, Bill Jackson, and Gary Dornberg are in “the back room” sharing a bucket of spaghetti with “A Man Called V”. They are grinnin’ from ear to ear … because 110% of the “pressure” will be on Roy and his Boys in Blue.
Smart money says Carolina wins this 3rd game regardless … simply too many guys named Williams not to win … but just suppose !!!! No BobLee, let’s don’t … yes, lets.
An NC State victory over Carolina on a stage of this magnitude would doom Chapel Hill to an 800 year nuclear winter. Regardless of the circumstances of such victory the Heeloid howler monkeys would concoct enough conspiracy theories and “yes, buts …” to sink the Bismarck. Someone will link the official scorekeeper to Damien Thornton’s cable guy. The victory won’t count because Norm Sloan’s sport coat was too ugly. Billy Packer interviewed Lou Pucillo in violation of the “never interview a guy named Lou” rule. Da Nile would be “a river in Egypt” AND the new name for “The Southern Part of Heaven”.
NOTE: The “get Jim Knight ready” suggestion we made in a recent column HAS been put in place. UNC Trainer Mark Davis will have the resurrected and reliable referee hidden inside a GatorAde thermos barrel at courtside. If the Wuffs get within 17 points in the final 5 minutes The Knight Card will definitely be played. NCAA Ethics Czar, Bill Friday, has given it his emeritus approval saying “ya gotta do what ya gotta do”.
As much as I am sincerely pulling for my Tar Heels, the twin images of a Lupine Mardi Gras and a Chapel Hill Hiroshima do boggle the mind. Jules From Harlem hanging from the ceiling of The Carrier Dome with his thumbs in his jersey in that latest “how come they do that” urban celebration pose, Herb quietly dropping his trou, mooning the Wuff fan section, and joining a Buddhist “think tank”.
You are saying “losing to Dook the following weekend would be worse than losing to State in the Elite Eight”. Nope … not even close. UNCers begrudgingly admit that Dook is “an elite program” led disgustingly by a ferret-faced acolyte of the Devil himself … but an “elite program” none the less.
State is “Moo U”
One team in the mid 70s led by an illegally recruited player
One miraculous air-ball anomaly in 1983.
Otherwise a bunch of battery-throwing delusional rednecks
with skoal cans in their back pocket … %^$&*.
I don’t deny my Tar Heel heritage two iotas but there are segments of the UNC fan base that are unworthy glommers-on to any UNC success. One is the puckered butt snots that were “born on 3rd and think they hit a triple” … and Two, some (not all) of the “I liked Mike” Wal-Mart bandwagoners whose faux jackass pomposity would even embarrass Terrapin trash. Both of these segments would immediately turn on Ol’ Roy and go back to hanging crude effigies of Dickie.
IF the Sports Gods do ordain “the unthinkable” of a Wuff Win vs UNC on Sunday, Wuffies should form a gigantic motorcade and PARADE right down the middle of Franklin Street. Let Chris “475 SAT” Washburn drive the lead tractor and Charles “Mr Amphibious” Shackleford be the caboose at the end. Have Lorenzo and Cozelle riding unicycles. Give’em a PARADE that no one will ever forget.
Damn … after getting you folks all stirred up (and you are!) what will probably happen is …Wisconsin beats State, UNC beats Villanova, Michigan State beats Duke, UNC loses to Utah (like ‘98, but without Nakthar’s crap this time) in the semis and Wisconsin-Milwaukee wins the whole shebang.
Only one guy in the World picked UW-Mil … Rick Neuheisal. Rick wins a bazillion dollars, buys the Golden Gate Bridge and stretches a banner clear across it that say “Stop Picking On Me, I Didn’t Do Anything Wrong (that you know about yet)”.
At the last Final Four in St Louis, “Goose” was the hero.
What was “Goose’s” real name
Who was the LOSING coach?
Congratulations to Pat Summitt for all her 879+ wins. I think she’s cool, even sexy in a ultimate dominatrix sorta way. But equating her accomplishment to Dean’s (soon to be Bob’s, then Mike’s) is silly. It’s like declaring Anson Dorrance is “better” than Teddy Roosevelt … The Beatles were better than Jack Nicklaus … and Eastern North Carolina barbecue is better than Lonesome Dove. ???!!!
Here’s a “you decide” … Carolina leads State 78-77 on Sunday, one second remaining, Atsur on the foul line with 1-1. God freezes the action and tells you “I will have him miss this foul shot IN EXCHANGE for going back to October 9 and giving T.A. one more attempt from the one” … how would you decide?
BobLee was interviewed on a Kansas City Radio station Tuesday on “Being Happy” from www.simplyswagger.com . Coming up on a break I waited for my moment “You know, Jerry, its ironic me being here on a radio station 40 miles from Lawrence Kansas talking about “being happy”. For me it’s easy because I’m a Tar Heel born, I’m a Tar Heel bred and when me and Ol’ Roy die we’ll be Tar Heel dead … Rock Chalk Bucknell!”. The station engineer froze and the call board lit up like a Honda on Franklin Street. BobLee was a baaaad boy … bwahahaha!
Journalistic History was made on Tuesday. The News & Observer (aka “that damn N&O”) contained an entire column praising a certain right-wing fanatic (and roguishly handsome Internet Legend!). Mr. Swagger was the subject of Dan Gearino’s quite flattering Life Style column. The Pulitzer committee has requested a dozen copies. … and the “legend” just grows and grows …
Who will “leave early” among Roy’s Boys??? … Just Raymond. The Latta Posse will win out. Baring unforseen issues the rest will stay, yes including “the enigmatic one” (because of his sister).