Why I won’t root for Duke

It happens every year here in North Carolina..one of our teams makes a deep run in the tournament and the rest of us have a decision. Do we root for the team we hate or do we root against them? Personally, I will never cheer for rivals and it all comes down to bragging rights.

This year all 3 Tobacco Road teams made the sweet 16 and everyone hoped their team would win and advance farther than the others. UNC and NC State both dropped their sweet 16 games and we all know where Duke ended up. I, along with many other NC State fans I know, am rooting for Wisconsin tonight, and not just because Russell Wilson went there (for grad school mind you). 

Neutral parties question this all the time. “You should cheer for them,” they say, “they’re representing your state.” A Duke win tonight would indeed be better for the state and the conference as a whole, but I can’t stand the thought of Duke winning it all. You see, college basketball isn’t just a sport to us in NC, it’s a religion. We all belong to our favorite school and we tend to do a lot of talking throughout the summer. If Duke wins the National Championship tonight, UNC and NC State fans, like myself, will have to endure another year of hearing how many titles the Blue Devils have and how many wins wins Coach K has. 

While I’d love see another title brought home to North Carolina, the incessant smack talk and gloating is a bit more than I’d like to endure for another summer. I wish both teams the best of luck tonight, but with the utmost respect for Duke, I must say…On Wisconsin!

Who Should Syracuse Fans Be Rooting For in the Big Dance?

March Madness!  The Big Dance!  The Bubble!  Every March, college basketball fans obsess about these topics.  And then the brackets come out and everyone fills one out… trying to decide whether to be a homer or hedge against your school losing early.  But what if your school is not in the bracket?  If your schools stinks (see Northwestern), so be it.  But when you are Syracuse and used to being in the field… it is extremely difficult for fans.  Some may not even bother.  For the rest of the Syracuse fans (and other schools’ fans stuck watching from afar)…regardless of who you PICK to win… who do you ROOT for?

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A Sweet Sweet 16

Say what you will about the way the selection committee selected and seeded this years tournament, whether they seeded for TV match ups or not, but it was an incredible opening  weekend. It featured a record six over time games and ample upsets for the underdog lovers. Our beloved ACC is down to Virginia and Louisville and the SEC went 7-0, who would’ve guessed that? The new Big East has been eliminated while the rest of the power conferences has lost at least half of their teams. The Sweet 16 is dominated by the power conferences with the lone exceptions being Dayton and San Diego State.
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Season End Recap- Why North Carolina Deserved a Chance in UNC-Iowa State

Another North Carolina Basketball season has come and gone. 24 wins. A Hall of Fame Tipoff Tournament Championship. And for the first time ever, a Roy Williams coached Carolina team is back at home after the Round of 32 for two years in a row. For many fans, it’s been an interesting, yet unsatisfying, season. Summer drama led to early season losses. Disappointing outcomes led to surprising upsets. Big victories led to an almost unprecedented poor start in conference play. A wake up call led to a huge win streak. And the season ended early, yet again, in the most bizarre of circumstances. As we reflect on the 2013-2014 North Carolina basketball team and look to the future, here are a few observations from this year’s season-

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Are the Cards poised for a repeat?

Say what you will about the Louisville Cardinals 4 seed, rather deserved or not, but it is of no consequence now. Its time to dance. We all remember Louisvilles remarkable finish ending with the national championship to put an exclamation point on the “year of the Cardinals”. What are the Cardinals chances at a repeat performance?
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What, No Kansas?- Analyzing the Tar Heels’ Path to the Final Four

Let’s go ahead and get the most obvious thing out of the way. No, North Carolina is not a favorite to make the Final Four. But could they get there? Absolutely. They have all the talent and tools to make a deep March run- defensive intensity, a wide rebounding margin, a star point guard, excellent bench play. Add a Hall of Fame coach to that list and you’ve got a pretty sure shot, right? The problem is, that the Tar Heels rarely exhibit all of these qualities at one time. This is the same team that lost to UAB (which finished with a losing record in lowly C-USA) and beat then #1 Michigan State (many media member’s pick to win it all) in the same WEEK. You never know what you’re going to get when they step on the court. A 12-game winning streak just became a 2-game losing streak courtesy of Duke and Pittsburgh, two teams which North Carolina had already beaten earlier in the season. So why do I think they still have a chance?

Because the Tar Heels always seem to show up when it matters most.

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