Thursday, April 16, 2009

NCAA tourney games

I know I said I was done posting but I forgot I had this one drafted. If I waited until next month, it just wouldn't be as cool. Plus, I needed pictures for it to feel completely at piece. Now I have pictures!

A couple of weeks ago I had my very first experience attending a NCAA tournament game. There are usually tournament games played in North Carolina each year and this year the first and second round games were played at the Greensboro Coliseum (about an hour from Raleigh). It's one of the blessings of living in college basketball heaven. I'd been to various ACC games over the years but never for the tournament. It was a beautiful experience. I didn't find out that I was going until about 12:30 the night before when my dear friend Trevor called me to see if I wanted the last ticket. I about cried.

This was our schedule:
  • 11:00ish - depart Raleigh/Durham
  • 12:00ish - drive around G-boro in search of food, a process that wasn't necessarily sped up by the Urban Spoon app on the iPhone.
  • 12:20 - LSU/Butler game
  • 3:01 - Carolina/Radford game
  • 5:15 - rumble in the parking lot
  • 5:30 - dinner at Waffle House
  • 7:10 - Texas/Minnesota game
  • 9:40 - Ice cream break
  • 9:50 - Duke/Binghamton game (left early and still got back to Raleigh around 12:30)
One of the most exciting parts of the day for me was getting to meet Tyler Hansbrough's father, Gene Hansbrough. I'm not really a star-struck person but I have really enjoyed watching Tyler Hansbrough play for Carolina for the past four years. His dad is frequently at his games, no matter where they are playing. His dad was SOOOO nice and didn't roll his eyes at me when I stammered through some gibberish about his son and their family.

For the first round game, Carolina played Radford University (small school from Virginia). They had a decent showing of fans. I thought it was great that so many students would come down from Virginia to see their #16 ranked team play #1 ranked UNC. I thought that for about 5 minutes. And then the game started. The fans were beyond passionate and were just rude. The boys in front of us had to be told by the people around them to calm down and stop swearing.

When everyone in the coliseum had to leave after the game, there was a group of Radford fans standing over one of the balconies boisterously heckling at all the Carolina fans. (Just for the record, Carolina won by 43 points). Most of the Carolina fans chose to ignore them but a few yelled back. And a few, namely myself and my friend Katie, chose to passively fight back. The picture below is us standing behind the hecklers.

I then decided a slightly more immature response was also needed. I approached one of the hecklers and very calmly asked him, "Hey man, I was in the bathroom at the end of the game. What was the final score?" He had no response. Zing! When your team loses by more than 40 points, it's best you quietly and respectfully leave, just like everyone else. When we were leaving the parking lot to go find dinner, we encountered a full-on verbal sparring between 2 Carolina fans (kinda red-neck-y) and a gaggle of Radford boys (see picture). We must have been there for more than 5 minutes before we convinced them to either fight it out or move so we could pass. It was an exciting afternoon.

The evening games didn't have as much drama as the afternoon games but were entertaining nonetheless. I LOVE attending live sporting events. I LOVE college basketball. And I LOVE UNC basketball. I have been dreaming of going to an NCAA tournament game for a long time and was able to go to four in one day! At one point I asked Trevor if he would make fun of me if I started crying. He said yes. So I refrained, though I felt like it at times. I will definitely be making efforts to go to the tournament games in the future.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Out to Lunch

This is not to be read as an indication of my current mental state. I am out to lunch as I take an official break from the blogging world. It is an intentional break and not the result of writer's block or blogging-laziness. I will still read others' blogs but I will not be writing any new posts (save this one that you are reading at this very moment) until the month of May. Why May? Because I will be wed on May 2 then embarking on a beach vacay (aka "honeymoon", I hate using that term, but will throw it around Kiawah, SC as much as I can that week to see what kind of free stuff we can get). The point of the break is because I don't feel that I can properly do the blog and my wedding plans justice by asking them to share my time and attention. So blog, I am sorry to say but when paired up against my wedding, you fall in second.

For all of my readers, far and wide, I hope that you don't forget about me and will start checking back for updates in May. But please feel free to read old posts for nostalgic purposes, laugh and clap each other on the shoulder as you remember the good times. I greatly appreciate everyone who reads my blog as you are one of the main reasons I keep writing. The other is because I found out that my current employer discovered my blog during my interviewing process and subsequently added some serious points to my resume. If she can find it, so can Harper Collins.

So long until May-ish.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Oh the sweet, sweet victory of the Tarheels. Last night, UNC topped off an amazing NCAA tournament with a record-setting win over Michigan State. Their 55-34 halftime lead was the highest halftime score in tournament history. This was their 5th national title and their 2nd since Coach Roy Williams came on as head coach in 2003. Two national titles in six seasons!! I don't think you know awesomely awesome that is. In this tournament, Carolina won every one of their games (6 total) by double digits. Last night, Ty Lawson set the Final Four record for the most steals in a single game (8). Tyler Hansbrough is now the 4th all-time scorer in NCAA tournament history. Over the last 3 years, UNC's overall record is 100-14.

There are plenty of people that would like to kick the stuffing out of the UNC basketball team, but really, who cares. I don't remember a time in my young adult life when I wasn't pulling for UNC. This particular group of players has been outstanding. They have so much class and style and seeing all the seniors win the championship was incredible. It's also been exciting living roughly 5 miles from the Dean Dome. The atmosphere is amazing. I'll quit my UNC gushing for now. I had the privilege to go to the first round of games in Greensboro a couple weeks ago... that post is currently pending. Until then, enjoy some of the highlights from last night in case you missed it.

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