Friday, March 16, 2007

I told you so.

It's somewhat convenient that I don't really write my blog to appeal to a particular audience, as I don't know how many people care about both American Idol and college basketball. But I can't help it. I grew up in Durham, North Carolina, also known as the Mecca of college basketball rivalries, and I have been a UNC fan since kindergarten (we didn't move to North Carolina until I was four, so I can't claim to have been a fan since birth). This loyalty to UNC means (in case anyone is totally clueless about this stuff) that I absolutely cannot stand Duke. I love to see them lose. I watch televised games of theirs even if they're playing a team I care nothing about, just to root against them. I find them elitist snobs, I think that Coach K wears a hairpiece, and their strategy of filling their team with one-level-below-NBA players irks me.

So it's been an enjoyable season, watching UNC sweep Duke in the season series, then go on to win the ACC tournament as Duke got eliminated in the very first round against N.C. State, who did not even get invited to the NCAA tournament (although, to be fair, State also beat UNC once this season and got to the finals of the ACC tournament). And my enjoyment of seeing Duke lose actually helped me when I filled out my bracket for the office pool (sidenote: this is my first year as a grown-up with a real job and thus my first year filling out a bracket for an office pool instead of just that Facebook thing, which is fun). The thing is that because I'm the only person from North Carolina in my office, I'm the only one who has paid enough attention to them this year to know that they are a short team who likes to play at a very slow pace and gets quite fatigued toward the ends of games against faster-tempo teams. Like VCU.

I thought I was the only person in the whole office pool who called VCU's upset over Duke last night, but I have just discovered that one other person also called it. But besides him, everyone else called Duke to win it on name alone. Some people actually called Duke to go quite far, including one insane person who thought they would make it to the Final Four.

Now my fingers are crossed that VCU can use the adrenaline from the Duke win to pull off a second straight upset, this time over Pittsburgh. But even if they don't, knowing that Coach K is off to re-dye his hairpiece until next fall makes me very, very happy. Maybe he should have accepted that offer from the Lakers after all.

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