We North Carolinians take our basketball seriously... and basketball takes us seriously, too; three of the top five teams in the nation right now (Duke, UNC, Wake Forest) are based in NC.
Just watched UNC almost lose a game to bottom-ranked Clemson. (The Heels woke up late in the second half and pulled it out, 88-81.)
Was IMing with a friend this morning, and he observed that his favorite thing about college basketball was that in any given game, any team can get hot and beat their highly-ranked opponent.
He's absolutely right. We saw it happen last week when three nationally-ranked teams succumbed to underdog opponents, and we almost saw it again this afternoon in the UNC game.
Of all places to find wisdom about college basketball, here's an interesting article from Reuters (dateline: Raleigh, NC.)
U.S. interest in college basketball, especially in areas where professional sports do not dominate, can be nearly as rabid in March as is the following for soccer in Europe.The analogy to World Cup soccer is right on.
"I don't think anything can compare (to the NCAA tournament) for a three-week span," said sales representative Chester Brown as he waited for lunch at a sandwich shop in Raleigh this week.
"For four days a week, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, for a three-week span, everybody in every office building in the country is talking about basketball," Brown said.
Once again, I point you to the ACC Hoops blog and to Yoni Cohen's excellent College Basketball blog. Terrific blog coverage at this time of year.