The entire college basketball world mourns. We can’t sleep at night. Our favorite team and program, the North Carolina Tar Heels, has fallen from the top of college basketball into a baby blue abyss.
When March Madness starts next month, our favorite team, America’s team, won’t make the field of 64. It seems unfathomable.
How could this have happened to our national college basketball team, the squad we can always count on to make it to the Sweet 16 at least and often the Final Four on a much more regular basis than almost every other college basketball program — except Duke, of course?
We won three national titles with “Ole Roy”
With “Ole Roy” leading us, we’ve won three national titles. The parties on Franklin Street have lasted for weeks. In fact, life in Chapel Hill feels like one non-stop basketball celebration on Franklin Street. At Carolina, they deserve to win national championships. The world owes it to them.
They deserve to get five McDonalds All-Americans coming out of high school every year to join their squad. This school has college basketball pouring through its baby blue veins. The DNA of North Carolina, James Naismith, and the game of basketball itself permeates the 19,000-seat shrine of baby blue seats known as the Dean Dome.
What happened to our national college basketball program? They keep losing games. Their record is 10 and 16. That’s unthinkable. “Ole Roy” is getting testy in post-game interviews. He’s usually such an affable guy. Everybody loves “Ole Roy.”
He’s so used to winning. He’s a first-ballot Hall of Fame coach. It’s so hard to watch him get this upset. It’s so disconcerting, so wrong. And yet it’s reassuring to us that next season he has the nation’s best recruiting class coming in. That’s what we’re used to.
What happened in the Duke game?
But what about that recent Duke game? They had the Blue Devils by 10 points in the second half. But somehow, they managed to lose the game. Duke always seems to figure out a way to hurt the Heels’ feelings. Their comeback against us this season will sting for decades.
We are all so hurt by this. We think Tar Heels basketball is the epicenter of this entire state and country. When people think of North Carolina, their minds immediately go to Dean Smith, Michael Jordan, and Roy Williams. Everything else, including the Research Triangle Park, NASCAR, and Bojangles, comes second.
But how are we supposed to deal with a team that can’t win basketball games anymore? Over the past five decades, they’re been one of the top five programs in the country. We know Duke has been better than us, but we hate admitting that so much.
Like biscuits and gravy
Winning and North Carolina basketball have been like biscuits and gravy, barbecue and coleslaw, James Taylor and “Carolina On My Mind.”
It all feels so odd, so strange, so wrong. We are all just beside ourselves about this. We can’t concentrate like we used to. Our days are non-stop basketball bummers. America’s team stinks.
Carolina basketball is about winning and yet this team is all about losing. It’s even making us question our favorite saying: “If God is not a Tar Heel, then why is the sky Carolina blue?”
The sky sure isn’t Carolina blue right now. Will it ever be again? Surely we have faith that “Ole Roy” can bring us back to glory, to his fourth national championship, to more frivolity on Franklin Street? We deserve this.
We’re Carolina basketball fans. It’s our right to have a massive party on Franklin Street every few years.
Tar Heel basketball is a religion in this country. And our faith has been shaken. Make us believe again.
Go Tar Heels. Win a basketball game. Shock the world and win the ACC Tournament. Steal that automatic bid into the field of 64 for March Madness. Make a deep run.
Go to the Final Four. Win the national title. Cut down the nets on Monday night. Get us back to another party on Franklin Street.
We all deserve this.
Sammy Sportface, a sports blogger, galvanizes, inspires, and amuses The Baby Boomer Brotherhood. And you can learn about his vision and join this group's Facebook page here:
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