Sunday, March 18, 2012

March Madness - Carolina Style

March Madness - you're either caught up into it or you're not. In 1977, our family became college basketball fans.  My parents got us interested.  They had a small TV and we had a larger one so during March Madness, they would come over to our house and sit on the edge of their seats watching each game that involved a North Carolina team.  From their excitement, we caught the fever.  Since that time (34 years of playing), a team from North Carolina has gone all the way to the final NCAA Championship game 15 times and they've won the championship game 9 times in those 34 years.  That's impressive since there's 68 teams that play.  Since that time, North Carolina University at Chapel Hill won 4 championships, Duke University also won 4, and NC State University won 1.   Now, some people are die-hard UNC-CH  (aka Carolina) fans and others are Duke fans, but it didn't matter to Mom and Dad.  If it was a North Carolina team, they pulled for them.  I'm the same way.  My #1 team is Carolina, but if it's Duke playing someone besides them, I'm pulling for Duke.  We had lived in North Carolina all our lives until 1996 when we moved just across he state line to South Carolina.  Old habits are hard to break - I'm still a die-hard fan of North Carolina teams.  Daughter #1 and her hubby and son are all hard core Carolina fans.

For those of you who've never heard of March Madness, here's what Wikipedia says about it:

The NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship is a single-elimination tournament held each spring in the United States, featuring 68 college basketball teams, to determine the national championship in the top tier of college basketball. The tournament, organized by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), was created in 1939 by the National Association of Basketball Coaches, and was the brainchild of Ohio State University coach Harold Olsen. Held mostly in March, it is known informally as March Madness or the Big Dance, and has become one of the most prominent annual sporting events in the United States.
The tournament teams include champions from 31 Division I conferences (which receive automatic bids), and 37 teams which are awarded at-large berths. These "at-large" teams are chosen by an NCAA selection committee, as detailed below. The 68 teams are divided into four regions and organized into a single elimination "bracket", which predetermines, when a team wins a game, which team it will face next. Each team is "seeded", or ranked, within its region. After an initial four games between eight lower-seeded teams, the tournament takes place over the course of three weekends, at pre-selected neutral sites around the United States. Lower-seeded teams are placed in the bracket against higher seeded teams. Each weekend cuts three-fourths of the teams, from a Round of 64, to a "Sweet Sixteen", to a "Final Four"; the Final four is usually played on the first weekend in April. These four teams, one from each region, battle it out in one destination for the national championship.
The tournament has been at least partially televised since 1969.  As television coverage has grown, so too has the tournament's popularity and place in American culture.
With 11 national titles, UCLA holds the record for the most NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championships; John Wooden coached UCLA to 10 of its 11 titles. The University of Kentucky is second, with 7 national titles, while Indiana University and the University of North Carolina are tied for third with 5 national titles. 2010 champion Duke University ranks fifth with 4 national titles.

Since 1939, the University of North Carolina and Duke have had the most of appearance of any teams in the "Final Four" (the last four teams still in the running who play for the championship). North Carolina with 18 appearances and Duke with 15 appearances.

Gotta be a foul - look at those hands all over our man.

Here's a link to today's game against Creighton

So, is it any wonder that native North Carolinians are consumed by March Madness!  It's because we're winners!  Duke is out of it already this year, but Carolina is still going strong.  We'll be on the edge of our seats during each of the games.  Go Carolina!  I can already smell the victory!  You're on your way to the Sweet 16.

1 comment:

  1. Great post - the boots on the other foot. I know nothing about Basketball or March Madness but understand the excitement.


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