Whew. ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK!! Kansas we owe you one. BIG time.
A little context. I grew up a Duke fan. I mean, a diehard Duke fan. The kind that would be ridiculously upset whenever they lost ANY game. Coach K is probably my favorite coach ever. 5 national titles. 13 Final Fours. Dude was a winner.
However since 2012, I've been a proud NC State Wolfpack fan and current alum. As far as sports go, it's safe to say that I hate UNC with every fiber of my being, with the burning passion of a thousand hells.
I was pulling for the Blue Devils this past Saturday in the Final Four. Why wouldn't I? They played the Heels and I grew up a Duke fan. It was an easy decision. And it was an incredible game. However, the ending of that game was something I've become all too accustomed to over the last decade: heartbreak.
There have been so many NC State games that we've found creative ways to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. So when Duke lost at the very end against UNC in the tournament--to quote Taylor Swift-- it was a feeling I know all too well.
Though, the funny thing is, my familiarity with this disappointment was the very reason I was able to recover rather quickly from the greatest coach of all time losing his final game in the national semifinals to the bitter rival from Chapel Hill. I've been there before.
While Duke may have been done, the job wasn't.
As someone who grew up and still lives in North Carolina, there's nothing worse than when the Tar Heels win a National Title. And to their credit, they've won 6 of them in men's basketball. (Yes the fake retroactive 1924 title doesn't count and isn't recognized by the NCAA)
We couldn't have UNC hang yet another banner. Credit to Hubert Davis and his squad for making this run. No disrespect to the guys on the team. But Lord have mercy, we didn't need to have to live in the living hell that would be yet another UNC National Title.
Folks that didn't grow up here don't get it. When you don't don the baby blue, you HATE everything about that school. They can be the most obnoxious, self righteous group of fans you've ever seen in the history of sports. And I'm not even talking about the people that actually went there or have family that went there.
I'm talking about the sizable portion of the NC population that buy their UNC apparel at one of America's favorite department stores: the Walmart Carolina Fan.
The people that have barely been to Chapel Hill, much less have ever been to campus or a game at the Dean Dome or Kenan. Hell, I've been to more basketball/football games over there than most of this crowd.
But they are the loudest crowd in their fanbase. They are the people that like talk smack to you for wearing an NC State hoodie at a Circle K gas station when you're only stopping for the wonderful refreshment that is a Dr. Pepper(not that this actually happened or anything). They are the folks who decide to come at you on social media and not even realize that some in the university administration look down on them from their wine and cheese parties in their ivory towers. But they blindly love the Heels.
It's because of the incessant trash talk to anyone who doesn't wear argyle and bowties while tailgating on Saturdays sipping wine in a parking deck that we are thankful for what Kansas just did.
They just came back from the biggest deficit down in the history of the National Championship to win and save us from the hell that the next year would be. And for that, I say only one last thing: ROCK. CHALK. JAYHAWK.