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March Madness

It’s that time of year. Here in North Carolina, we are all in the “eat, breathe, sleep, dream, and talk about nothing but basketball” zone that overtakes our state like clockwork every March. To call it an obsession is no exaggeration at all. We’re hoops mad all the time but once the tournament begins, we get even crazier. Forget Easter or spring fever, for now it’s all hoops, all the time.

My team is the University of North Carolina Tar Heels, known affectionately as “the Heels.” The typical conversation starter these days is “How ‘bout those Heels?” and I hear that at work, in the grocery store, at the dentist, and from both friends and strangers pretty much everywhere I go. People carry their brackets around with them everywhere, and we compare notes about who we picked. I'm starting to get emails from old college buddies who want to talk about our chances. We pull out old “good luck” clothes or charms that helped us win previous championships in 1957 or 1982 or 1993 or 2005 and do various other things to try to please and appease the hoops gods (I have a very tattered but very lucky pompom that I build a shrine for).

I’m cautiously optimistic about our chances this year. We’re ranked Number One in the country, have the best player in the nation, have healed from some mid-season injuries, and are playing very very well. But winning it all in a “one-and-done” tournament like the NCAA is very difficult, and it only takes one giant killer playing the game of his life to knock a better team out. So while I’m trying to take it one game at a time (survive and advance), I can’t help but smile when I think about cutting the nets down on April 7. We’ll see what happens.

Here are a few photos. First is my nephew scoring a basket at the recently opened Carolina Basketball Museum. See all that light blue? That’s Carolina blue! One of our fight songs goes, “I’m Tar Heel born and I’m Tar Heel bred and when I die, I’ll be Tar Heel dead” and my nephews are being “bred” to carry on the tradition, just like my brother and I were.

Masonhoops

Our star player was recently named National Player of the Year by Sports Illustrated. Some folks are concerned about an alleged SI cover jinx, but not me. I’m superstitious about other things but not that, and I’m happy for Tyler (aka Psycho T, what a cool nickname!).

marchmadman

The greatest player of all time (who started his amazing career as a Tar Heel) kissing our beloved retired coach Dean Smith. I’ll never forget the first national championship in my lifetime (1982). I was in college, and the Heels were playing Georgetown in the finals. The game was very close and nerve-wracking and then a skinny freshman player named Mike Jordan hit the jumper that put us ahead, and a star was born and the Heels won it all!

DeanandMichael

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Comments (5)

Kathy (Trekcapri):

Annie, I would not have guessed that you're a big college basketball fan!

I'll cheer for your team to win! Go tar heels!

Woo hoo! I can identify with this. Both my boys have represented their state in basketball - oh and my youngest is about to go to England to represent Australia in pool. Have cue, will travel.

Anne:

Great shot of your nephew! (And I see the word "HEEL" in the floor - before your post I wouldn't have had a clue what that meant.)

I have never been a college basketball fan and so I have not paid attention to March Madness, but will cheer for the Tar Heels this year :-)

Thanks everyone - all these new Tar Heel fans - I love it!

First game is Friday night at 7:00 pm Eastern time.

Next game is Sunday around 4:30 pm. It's funny but my family has been waiting to get the hoops TV schedule before we made any plans for our Easter Sunday dinner (we are all nuts!). We are going to have lunch instead of dinner so we can watch the game.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 17, 2008 1:42 PM.

The previous post in this blog was Gesuiti (Santa Maria Assunta).

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