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!