Growing up in North Carolina means something in March. You're either for Duke or you're for Carolina and there's no confusing the two. Family and friends aren't really family and friends for those two anticipated, dreaded nights of basketball. Then comes the ACC Championship and the Big Dance...the NCAA Championship. So much hype, so much hate, so much excitement, and so much fun.
While half of my bridesmaids went to UNC-Chapel Hill, I know better than to pull for the Tarheels. Never pulled for them for a day in my life. Never worn a t-shirt and won't even drink out of a Carolina blue plastic cup. Went to the Dean dome for Late Night with Roy once....I was going to sit outside but my friends literally pulled me in. The poor student who was greeting at the door was rethrown her blue beads right back at her; they were the wrong color blue! I would have nothing of it.
My dad went to Duke, so he raised his family as any of the Crazies would...GO DUKE! And I remember watching countless basketball games growing up. Even now, we don't have cable, and I don't have time to watch tv and I really don't watch tv. Except. For. Duke. Basketball. Thank goodness we randomly have access to ESPN3 and I have a computer at home now. It's not like I can watch Mike Hogewood on Raycom any time I want in Oklahoma. But hey, no more going out to wing joints and constantly asking if I can change the tv station to watch a regular season game by myself like I might have done the past few years. (Or going to FSU games in person & being spit on with sunflower seeds for wearing a Duke shirt!)
So today was a great day, folks. Duke won it all last year, and this year has been pretty good so far, but today they looked oh-so-good. Won the 2011 ACC Tournament and it was even more sweet because it was another win over Carolina. BLUE DEVILS are 3 in a row in the tourney & have 19 total now. I'll take it!
Now it's bracket time. For as long as I can remember, I've filled out two brackets per year. My dream bracket that has my dream picks (usually finagling an ACC Final Four, Duke meeting Carolina again, if at all possible) and my actual bracket with my best guesses. Of course, then you enter friends' bracket challenges, and who wins? People like Meredith Fore who I'm pretty sure made all decisions based on team color and wanting to vacation in Florida. But, it's still the best time of the year in my book. March Madness, BABY!!! And I just want to know...is Irving in?!!! If so, I think we may be seeing some back-to-back action!